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Where Do Our Numbers Come From?

Some people have questions (as well they should) about the sources for the various numbers, statistics, facts that inform the perspective for my advocacy work—what is the scientific basis behind my concerns and statements?  I provide the links below in support of my work, conclusions and opinions, and am always open to discussing specifics or interpretations of data.

One of my favorite articles about the impact of low-level lead exposure (with great references at the end):
Leonardo Trasande’s economic impact report, 2011:
 This report demonstrates that the total cost of all environmental illness is $76.6 Billion annually and that, still  – today, Lead Poisoning is nearly 2/3 of that cost – coming in at $50.9 billion annually:
Oregon Environmental Council’s The Price of Pollution report, 2008:
This report supports the Trasande report, extrapolating the impact on a single U.S. State, with childhood lead poisoning estimated to cost the State of Oregon $878,000,000 annually:
CDC report demonstrating that at least one-in-three U.S. kids (31%) has had a BLL of 2.5 or higher in their lifetime, 2009
  • This 31% combined with U.S. Census data showing there are more than 66,000,000+ children under the age of 18 today and combined with the fact that there is no safe level of lead in a child’s blood and BLL’s as low as 2.0 have been clearly shown to cause long-term negative health and neurological impairments – results in the staggering estimate that at least 22,000,000 U.S. children today are likely to have had an unsafe level of lead in their blood in their lifetime.)  (23.6% + 4.5% + 1.5% + 1.4%=  31%)
  • The numbers in this report represent a time period that includes children that are still under the age of 18 today (in 2014) yet only counts children who are “currently” elevated for any given cohort, not children who previously tested positive but no longer have lead circulating in their blood.
  • While the rates of children testing positive over a BLL 10 may have decreased with the stated decrease in this report  – these numbers  also need to be adjusted upwards to include BLL 2.0 and higher (see first article above about low-level lead exposure impacts.)
  • Most low level results are not being tracked for trends.
  • Testing rates for all children are also very low – and only children ages 1 to 5 are generally being tested.
  • Entire demographic sectors of children exposed today are not being tested as testing is erroneously focused on the historical and out-dated demographic of low-income families.
  • In 2014 (and since the 1990s) more and more middle and upper income families’ children are being poisoned by renovation and gentrification yet not being tested because they “do not fit the demographic” so while the testing rates and percentages noted above serve as a guideline for coming up with a number [“one in three children”] this is likely a very conservative number since so many factors are not considered in this report and the data is likely skewed to focus on low-income minority families (families that are more and more likely to live in newer construction townhomes and apartments and less likely to be poisoned – so therefore generating a false sense of rates of poisoned children dropping.)
US Census Information Table demonstrating approximately 79,000,000+ U.S. homes built in 1981 or earlier:
Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 6.09.00 PM

If you would like to do more research on your own, I encourage you to start with the work of any of the following scientists and researchers (each of whom was interviewed for my film):

David Rosner & Gerald Markowitz (History)
Dr. Leonardo Trasande & Dr. Philip Landrigan (Economic Impact Studies)
Rick Nevin (Economic Impact – with an emphasis on crime trends)
Dr. Bruce Lanphear (Children’s Environmental Health Expert)
Drs. Ted Lidsky & Jay Schneider (Neuropsychological Impacts)
Dr. Howard Mielke (expert on lead in soil.)
• Ralph Spezio (the impacts of childhood lead exposure on education / special education)

For a full list of the experts we interviewed for the film (each has a specific area of focus within the broader topic of childhood lead poisoning) please see <this page>.

Thank you.

Lead Safe America Foundation



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