Below is a post originally written and shared in March of 2015. It’s a post I have shared often so I am re-sharing now, so those who are new to my page and my work have context for my story as well as the benefit of the information provided. Thanks for reading, friends! – Tamara
Below is my son Avi’s first ever blood lead test result. It was the one from when we found out – more than two months AFTER his acute exposure to lead fumes [from illegal torch-burning of lead paint by a contractor]- that he was poisoned – when he was seven months old.
I am posting this for two reasons:
- so families coming to our site can see what a blood lead test result looks like (so they can know what they need to get in writing from their doctor) and
- as a resource for reporters who interview me – and who sometimes call back or e-mail, saying that they need “proof” that my child was ever poisoned. <#sigh>
Thank you for reading,
Please post questions below in the comments if you have them.
Mother of Lead Poisoned Children
Note from Leonard Rubin (Tamara’s Husband):
It is emblematic that a tediously long succession of school administrators, pediatricians (and other assorted bureaucrats we have had to explain ourselves to), as well as a few of the many journalists who have contacted us—have routinely been ignorant of or misinformed about lead’s extreme neurotoxicity, and of its many profound health impacts; suspicious, skeptical—often cynical, in fact—and in many cases openly adversarial…when it comes to lead poisoning in general, and our case specifically…
After all, despite the fact that scientists and medical specialists that work in the field have known for well over a hundred years that childhood lead exposure produces demonstrable, permanent – and often profound damage to the brains and bodies of the victims…
and – moreover that they have shown over the last twenty years or so – in peer-reviewed published study after study that even very low level exposure can routinely result in this very same level of permanent damage (i.e. the permanent damage has already been done at the earliest/lowest levels of exposure—contradicting the long-standing, widespread mistaken impression that it takes something like a kid “eating paint chips”, rather than the troubling reality that all it takes is an inhaled, invisible – microscopic – amount of lead-contaminated house-dust to permanently damage a child’s developing brain)—culminating finally, in the CDC’s public acknowledgement/official stance now that “there is no ‘safe level’ of lead in any child’s blood”…
we do live in a country in which (despite what we like to espouse, pretend or aspire to) the health and well-being of the citizenry – including our children – has historically and increasingly taken a backseat to the interests of big business—which now means huge, trans-national corporations and their shareholders, investors, lawyers, bankers, political benefactors and other financial stakeholders; everything “downstream” of that realm is, as a practical matter, of little consequence to the “players” in that “game”.
Contrastingly, the Internet, and its fragmenting, “you-can-instantly-find-support-for-any-theory-of-correlation-or-causality-no-matter-how-unproven, un-scientific or far-fetched” has produced a counter-culture of un-scientific/superstitious -but passionate and vocal – individuals and groups pushing various theories and agendas in the area of health and illness.
The end result is that here in the U.S., a growing number of “mainstream” folks (intelligent, well-educated, level-headed, well-meaning people – collectively, culturally as a nation) have adopted a rather uncharitable, “hard-boiled” – cynical, suspicious, disbelieving way of approaching any and all claims of correlation or causality—helped along by the well-funded [and well-documented] calculated misinformation/misdirection efforts of those within the lead industry and its far-reaching global financial and political dependents and beneficiaries with a substantial vested interest in concealing or downplaying the enormous body of settled science regarding the dangers of lead.
And thus it is that we are repeatedly required to “prove” to people that our children were poisoned or that our children have long-term negative health impacts as a result of being poisoned.
It is because of this need to constantly explain and demonstrate this, that my wife made her film MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic – (and that this film heavily emphasizes the testimony of and interviews with top scientific and medical experts in the field over personal stories) so we (and other parents) would not have to each constantly explain and re-explain our case; so hopefully, the awareness of the issue in the general public shifts and becomes as obvious and widely shared as it has been in the scientific communities for decades.
That said – I must voice that it is very disheartening, degrading, personally intrusive and otherwise upsetting to be put in a position in which we are perpetually asked to “prove” our children’s poisoning and their related disability – when our lives are so heavily burdened by and we are so consumed by its impact each and every day. Also, it is especially heartbreaking to be endlessly asked to “prove” this when my wife has spent nearly every waking moment for the last eight years on this issue— on educating the world and changing public perception… and as a volunteer no less!
Is it not enough that the Today Show, Al Jazeera English, numerous articles in The New York Times, The New York Post, Mother Jones, USA Today, CBS, NBC, ABC and even FOX have confirmed our story?
Do we really need to be put through the frustration and upset caused by endlessly needing to “prove” we have a reason for doing what we do – for Tamara doing what she has been doing for nearly a decade?
[Note for the press: We understand the need from a reporter’s perspective to do their homework, but Tamara is a mother, managing a household with lead poisoned kids, running a nonprofit, and trying to help so many families; please if you need “proof” (or additional background context)—consider taking the time to watch a preview of the film – all your questions should be answered there. This is WHY she created the film. For you. To answer your questions. ]
Short of that – Tamara will be the first to say…”Come spend a day with our family, that should give you everything you need to support your story.” [So far only one journalist has taken the time to do this – spending the night with us in our home, and we are truly appreciative of the perspective she gained by doing this.]
– Len Rubin
Father of Lead Poisoned Children