Lead: A toxic legacy
Lead exposure remains a threat to America’s children
There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead exposure is likely to impair children's normal brain development, contribute to learning and behavioral problems, and lower IQs.
Despite decades of progress in reducing children's exposure to lead, America continues to have a toxic legacy of lead.
In 2011, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimated that approximately 500,000 children have elevated blood lead levels.1 Poor and minority children remain at the greatest risk.
Paths toward reducing lead exposure
Events in Flint and elsewhere underscore how difficult it is to safely manage the lead pipes that still provide drinking water for millions of Americans. EDF is working to accelerate replacement of lead pipes.
Paint remains the most significant source of lead exposure in homes. Standards and policies must be updated to keep pace with the science and industry practices.
Faced with an overload of sometimes-conflicting information, we need clear, accurate and evidence-based information. Having that knowledge will support actions that result in real reductions in lead exposures.
No one entity alone can prevent lead poisoning. Governments, nonprofits, health professionals, and individuals need a broader, coordinated approach to protect children from lead.
- "Blood Lead Levels in Children Aged 1–5 Years — United States, 1999–2010," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention