Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Preventing Lead Poisoning in Children. “There’s Got to Be a Way to Do This.”
Children face enough challenges growing up in poverty. Lead poisoning and its devastating effects is unacceptable – it is preventable. ABLE has represented the Toledo Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition (TLPPC) in the long struggle to prevent lead poisoning in rental housing in Toledo.
Lead poisoning happens without notice to parents renting homes and the effects are lifelong – often causing cognitive and physical disorders and profound behavioral changes, including impulsivity and aggression. Toledo’s mayor has presented a proposal for a new ordinance. It would not require dust wipes [to detect lead levels in rental housing] until more than five years after the law is passed. But dust wipes are necessary to accurately test for the presence of lead dust in a home. The TLPPC agrees with The Blade’s Sept. 6 editorial: https://www.toledoblade.com/editorials/2019/09/06/dont-drag-feet-on-toledo-lead-ordinance-rental-safety
The Blade’s article is correct. “To keep children safe, a lead-safe ordinance actually has to make it possible to identify the homes and day-care centers where children are exposed to lead. And this will require dust-wipe testing to check for the presence of lead. Relying on visual inspections alone will not only mean Toledo’s ordinance will not protect children, it will ensure that the program is a huge waste of money and time.” Meanwhile, children, parents, and the community at large pay the price of lost human potential.