Even as researchers warn of an ever-increasing risk of lead exposure-related health effects in children, the federal administration has moved ahead to slash funding for an important lead poisoning prevention program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program channels funds to state health departments in order to conduct lead screening programs. The funds for this lead poisoning prevention program have been cut by approximately 93%.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program received $2 million in funding this year. That was a dramatic decline from $29.2 million last year. Most of the money goes for screening programs by state health departments, while the rest of the money goes toward education programs and data collection. These are important activities that help health agencies understand the extent of lead poisoning and exposure hazards in the country.
With reduced funding, many state health departments that are already reeling under a scarcity of resources, are not likely to go ahead with screening programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it will continue working with the limited resources it has to prevent lead poisoning in children. However, how effective those programs will be with such a dramatic cut in funds is anyone’s guess.
The findings coincide with the results of a new study which finds that children continue to be exposed to dangerous chemicals, like lead every day. The Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health and Ecology Center tested low-cost and popular children’s jewelry for lead and other chemicals. They found that many pieces of jewelry sold at popular retailers across the country, contained lead at high levels.
More than 57% of the products that were tested contained at least one or more hazardous chemicals at high levels. At least 27% of the children’s jewelry that was tested contained unsafe levels of lead. These pieces of jewelry contained more than 300 ppm of lead in one or more components. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has set 300 ppm as the maximum amount of lead that can be contained in children’s products. Jewelry can be a very effective and potent vehicle for ingestion of lead by children, because children tend to bite on their necklaces or nibble on their bracelets.
However, even though funds for the lead poisoning prevention program have been slashed, there are other reasons for Indiana personal injury lawyers to be encouraged. A team of enterprising researchers at Michigan Technological University is experimenting with a procedure to remove lead from soil. Much of the lead that is ingested by children comes from lead-based paint in older homes. The paint flakes can leak into nearby soil, creating a hazard to children who play in the soil. The researchers are developing with a procedure that can remove traces of lead from soil.
The Indiana product liability lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy are dedicated to the representation of persons injured by the use of defective products across Indiana.