Stop Children From Being Poisoned by Lead Paint

Target: Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Goal: Increase monitoring of lead levels in children and stop poisoning caused by lead paint.

In 2015, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan reminded Americans that childhood lead poisoning is still a problem in the United States. Yet Flint was far from an isolated incident: a special report from Reuters found that children in 3,800 American neighborhoods had lead levels more than twice as high as the levels found in Flint at the height of the crisis. Horrifically, these children remain largely ignored.

Since lead was removed from paint and gasoline in the 1970s, the average blood lead levels of American children have dropped by 90 percent. While these numbers are heartening, experts warn that the problem is far from solved. Many children, especially those living in low income areas, continue to be exposed to dangerously high levels of lead. In fact, a study by the Public Health Institute’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program found that between 1999 and 2010, 1.2 million children tested positive for high lead levels. Even more shocking, researchers estimated that half of these children were not receiving treatment. How can this be? Researchers found that lack of treatment was due to a lack of testing. Testing for lead poisoning isn’t required in the United States and pediatricians often underestimate the prevalence of lead poisoning and thus do not test for it.

Many factors contribute to lead poisoning in children, however lead paint appears to be one of the major causes. The replacement of lead paint in homes is relatively straightforward but can be expensive. Especially for many low-income families, it may not be possible to fix the problem without outside help.

Sign this petition to demand an increase in monitoring of lead levels in children and funding for the replacement of lead paint, especially in high-risk areas.


Dear Dr. Carson,

I am writing to ask you to address the problem of lead poisoning in children. Over a million children in the United States have dangerously high levels of lead in their blood and many are being poisoned by the very homes they live in. Many families cannot afford to move or safely replace the lead paint in their houses. As the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, it is your responsibility to provide safe housing conditions for these children.

Houses with lead paint are incredibly dangerous for young children. Even very low levels of lead have been shown to lower IQ, increase the risk of developing ADHD, and cause permanent neurological damage. Childhood lead exposure also appears to be linked to violent crime in adulthood. Researchers believe lead is a key perpetuator of poverty: children growing up in low income households are more likely to be exposed to lead, and lead exposure may prevent them from succeeding in school and in the job market. It is unconscionable to allow these children to be doomed to a poisoned, poverty-stricken life simply because of the circumstances of their birth.

I ask that you and your colleagues at the Department of Housing and Urban Development do all you can to help families get rid of lead paint and protect vulnerable children from lead poisoning.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jason Bolonski

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  1. Gen Agustsson says:

    stop it. it may have asbestos and or lead.

  2. Asbestos and lead have both been banned for decades!!

    • Hannah Elizabeth says:

      Hi Frank! You are right that lead paint was banned for use in housing in 1978. However, many people are living in houses built before 1978 that still contain dangerous amounts of lead paint. This petition is requesting funds to allow people living in low-income areas to remove the lead paint from the houses that they currently live in.

  3. We have a hell of alot of problems left by evil people. We need to clean up homes and the environment; stop the spread of it and find a way to dispose of it without ruining more land.

  4. Lead should be banned in all products! Period!

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