Tamara Rubin, Founder and Executive Director of Lead Safe America Foundation has four sons. Avi is her third son. He was born and lead poisoned in 2005 in Portland, Oregon.
Avi was seven months old when he was acutely lead-poisoned. The Rubins hired a contractor who said he was certified in lead-safe work practices. The contractor used dry scraping and an open-flame torch to remove the paint on the exterior of the Rubin’s historic home to prepare it for repainting.
Avi was not yet walking – not even crawling. His exposure did not come from eating a paint chip nor from playing in lead-contaminated dust on the floor. Baby Avi inhaled lead fumes and was instantly acutely lead-poisoned.
The contractor had said it was safe for the Rubin family to stay in the home as he was only working on the exterior, but with the age of the home the fumes and dust from the exterior permeated the structure and contaminated their entire home.
Avi’s story (along with his brother A.J.’s story) is featured with the stories of 5 other families with lead-poisoned children in the documentary film MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic.
A quick summary of it can also be heard as told by his mother, Tamara, in the film’s trailer. Watch it here (it’s just 3-minutes.)