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Why Can't We Fix Our Lead Problem?

By Doug Parker, Executive Director

This is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. As we could have sadly predicted, 所有的关注和全国的愤怒都来自于对弗林特人民健康的漠视, Michigan has been forgotten as we have collectively had our head turned by Twitter and the NFL. 本周是一个很好的时间,花点时间想想我们还能做些什么来解决这个伤害我们最脆弱的邻居的问题.  

It barely registered with the public that lead is not just a Flint, Michigan problem. Last year a Reuters investigation reported that in some 3,000 U.S. communities, children have lead poisoning rates double those in Flint. Here in our backyard, in the Fruitvale District, 安全工作日劳动者之家与街道卫生项目和法律中心合作, children have a 7.6% rate of elevated lead levels in their blood. That’s the highest level for any community in California. The rate in Flint is 5%. 

不幸的是,我们没有全球十大赌钱软件app在弗鲁特维尔工作的临时工的全面数据(如果我们的读者知道数据或报告的话), please email me at 但我们知道,儿童铅接触的一个常见来源是在工作中受到污染的家庭成员将铅引入家中. If Fruitvale children have these levels of exposure, we can expect that the day laborers who are demolishing, sanding, and painting in that community are regularly exposed, not only to lead, but to asbestos and other dangerous materials. 

Statewide, a recent Department of Public Health report showed that among 38,000 workers who were screened over a three year period, 16% tested positive for elevated lead levels. Among a subset of workers who were screened two or more times, 20% tested positive at least twice, indicating chronic exposure.

A strategy to reduce lead exposure for children must include reducing lead exposures in the workplace. 当涉及到像铅这样的毒素时,职业健康和我们社区的健康是一回事. The disproportionate impact on poorer communities, which have systematically gotten a raw deal on health risks, elevates our moral obligation to act, and reducing workplace exposures will help lead to positive health outcomes for everyone. 

这就是为什么加州/职业安全与健康管理局和标准委员会需要继续推进官僚程序来更新加州过时且不充分的铅标准. Unfortunately, a bill to exempt health and safety standards from burdensome and pointless cost analyses, like the one holding up the new lead standard, was not passed this legislative session, and so workers and their families will continue to wait for their government to help them.