This is less than a minute of footage from the opening sequence of my documentary film on childhood Lead-poisoning (MisLEAD: America’s Secret Epidemic). The soundtrack for this scene is a montage of actual phone messages that I received from parents, as far back as 2011 – 2012. [Please watch with the sound on!]
After I launched my first Lead-poisoning prevention advocacy website (in 2008), and after my story was featured in USA Today (2007), and on the Today Show (2008), I started getting calls like this every day, non-stop. Since joining Facebook in 2009, the requests for help have shifted more to being messages & questions on social media, but they are still constant (24/7 – 365)!
Lead-poisoning does not discriminate — it is not “just an urban problem”, or “just a low-income problem”, or “just a minority problem”; it is happening all over the country…from small towns to big cities, every single day. Lead poisoning is *personal* – it is “YOUR” problem; if not you directly, then someone in your family, one of your neighbor’s kids, or friend’s kids – even if it is not yet diagnosed.
ONE IN THREE kids in the United States has had an unsafe level of Lead in their blood in their lifetime. If you have not yet tested your own child, you should; it’s a simple blood test, and it’s always good to have a “baseline” — even if you do not suspect that your child could ever be poisoned.
Children should be tested at least annually through the teen years. Ideally first test your baby before they start to crawl and then again 4 or 5 months after they start to crawl. With testing on this schedule you have an opportunity to discover any potential Lead exposure hopefully before it has significant life-long impacts.
Restricting the concern for childhood Lead-poisoning to kids “under the age of 6” is an old arbitrary political construct — designed to make the problem “seem manageable” (limiting knowledge of the true scope of the problem with an unintended consequence: diminishing political will to drive funding to fix the problem).
If you have not yet watched the film, please do. The preview screener is up (for free, non-monetized) on YouTube. https://youtu.be/eRKlaC2EjL0
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