Recent crises in Flint, Michigan, and East Chicago, Indiana, have made it clear that children in many communities across the United States are still at risk for lead exposure, often in their own homes. This is especially true for children of color living in low-income communities.
While the United States has made great strides in reducing the number of children at risk of lead poisoning, it has failed to eliminate lead hazards completely. This means that thousands of children each year are at risk of suffering from the cognitive and developmental delays that can result from lead exposure.
Children deserve to grow up in environments free of lead contamination. By understanding how children are exposed to lead—and which children are most at risk for exposure—policymakers and leaders at every level of government can plot a course for eliminating lead exposure for children across the United States. For children who have already been exposed to lead, investments in high-quality interventions throughout childhood can help counteract lead’s cognitive and behavioral effects.