Today, during the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Healthy Homes Month, Secretary Ben Carson will travel to Baltimore to advocate for safe, lead-free and healthy homes in a city that has faced significant challenges with hazardous housing and keeping kids healthy.
The twin tragedies of deteriorating housing stock and sick children have undermined generations of Baltimore’s children. Every year in this country, more than half a million children under the age of 6 are poisoned by lead through water, paint, soil or other everyday items, causing irreversible health problems that include cognitive and developmental damage, and sometimes aggressive or violent behavior.
Children poisoned by lead are seven times more likely to drop out of school than their peers. On top of the tragic and costly impact of lead exposure on children’s school performance, criminal activity and economic potential, one credible study found that populations exposed to lead in their drinking water had significantly higher homicide rates 20 years later.
The good news is that lead exposure is entirely preventable. We have the knowledge and the tools to keep every person in America safe from it, and we have ample evidence that simple steps like lead paint remediation can help change a child’s potential from blighted to bright.
You may read the full story in the Baltimore Sun