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Lead Poisoning

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HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2012
The number of young children deemed at risk of lead poisoning in Maryland and nationwide expanded drastically Wednesday as a federal health agency declared it would effectively cut in half its threshold for diagnosing the environmental illness. Acknowledging mounting evidence that children can suffer lasting harm from ingesting even minute amounts of lead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would reduce the level at which it recommends that doctors, families and health authorities act to lower a child's exposure to the toxic metal.
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ENTERTAINMENT
Timothy B. Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
The decades-long decline in lead-poisoned children in Maryland has essentially stalled, but state officials said Thursday they are taking steps in the coming months to address gaps in the marathon effort to eliminate the environmental health threat. Statewide, 2,622 youngsters up to age 6 were found to have harmful levels of lead in their blood last year, according to an annual report just released by the Maryland Department of the Environment. That's down 4 percent from 2012, though the number of children with seriously elevated lead levels grew slightly, from 364 to 371. Exposure to even minute amounts of lead can harm still-developing brains and nervous systems of young children, leading to learning and behavioral problems.
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HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2011
A lawyer for the state health department pledged Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court to retrieve and safeguard records of Maryland children tested for lead poisoning, resolving a complaint by lawyers for poisoned children over the agency's recent destruction of thousands of paper records of those tests. Matthew Fader, assistant attorney general representing the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told Judge Pamela J. White that he had reached an agreement with lawyers bringing lawsuits on behalf of lead-poisoned children to keep all remaining paper test results and to try to restore electronic records that had also been deleted.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2014
The Baltimore County Police Department plans to renovate its indoor shooting range in Lutherville after being cited for exposing employees to high concentrations of lead. Maryland Occupational Safety and Health issued the citations in May after finding that the ventilation system operated poorly and other protections against lead exposure, such as regular disposal of combustible waste, were not in place. Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said the department is evaluating plans to improve ventilation.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2012
With efforts to reduce lead poisoning among children at a crossroads, Maryland lawmakers are wrestling with proposals to expand state regulation of home sales, rentals and repairs to reduce youngsters' exposure to the toxic metal. But the biggest question facing legislators might be how — or whether — to help landlords facing a flurry of lead-paint poisoning lawsuits from former tenants. The number of young children reported poisoned by lead in Maryland has dropped 98 percent since the mid-1990s.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2011
Antonio Fulgham can barely read or write. The 21-year-old from West Baltimore has been deemed "mentally retarded," with bleak job prospects. He blames his plight on lead poisoning he suffered as a toddler while growing up amid flaking paint in two Baltimore public housing units. Last fall a city jury agreed, and ordered the Housing Authority of Baltimore City to pay him damages that amount to $1.27 million. Although nothing can undo his brain damage, Fulgham says the money will mean "a better change in my life.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2011
Lead poisoning, once widespread, appears on the way to becoming a rarity among children living in old rental housing in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland. But the problem is growing among youngsters who live in owner-occupied and newer rental homes, and that is prompting state officials to look for new ways to fight the longtime health scourge. State environmental officials reported Tuesday that the number of Maryland children found last year with harmful levels of lead in their blood declined to 531, down by 22 from the year before and less than 0.5 percent of all youngsters tested.
NEWS
By Larry Atkins | September 14, 2000
PHILADELPHIA -- For decades, it's been the stealth epidemic. Now, a battle is being waged to combat lead poisoning. But are we fighting the wrong enemy by going after the paint companies? While the number of lead poisoning cases for children under age 6 has dropped from 14.8 million in 1978 (the year lead paint was banned) to 890,000 today, lead poisoning remains a serious problem. More than 7,000 children are exposed to lead paint in Baltimore each year, and 1,200 are poisoned. Poor children are five times more likely than others to have high blood-lead levels.
BUSINESS
July 17, 1998
Athena Environmental Sciences has landed a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a rapid, urine-based test for lead poisoning, the company said yesterday.The $100,000 grant for the privately held company, which is based at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Technology Center, is earmarked for developing a prototype urine test and a small pilot clinical study.Athena's chairman and chief executive officer, Sheldon Broedel, said the company plans to develop a test that can detect in urine samples a protein that is believed to be a marker for lead in the blood.
NEWS
By Jackie Powder and Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer | June 18, 1995
A Columbia woman who claims her 7-year-old son suffered irreparable brain damage from lead poisoning has filed a $6 million lawsuit against a Mount Airy landlord.Estelle Alexander alleges that the home she rented from Emmett Full in 1989 contained peeling lead paint that was ingested by her son Philip, then 1 year old.As a result of his exposure to lead, Ms. Alexander says the boy, now 7, has a learning disability, a shortened attention span, hyperactivity, a diminished IQ and behavioral and emotional problems.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose and Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Young World Store on Liberty Heights Avenue has been cited by the Baltimore City Health Department for selling children's bracelets with excessive levels of lead, the agency announced Thursday. The agency said lead levels in the multicolored bangle bracelet are 25 times the amount permitted. This is the third time in three years that the store at 2401 Liberty Heights Ave. has been cited for lead violations, according to the health department, which alerted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the most recent findings.
NEWS
By Ruth Ann Norton | October 30, 2013
What if there was a completely preventable disease that affected one in 38 American children under the age of six and Congress effectively eliminated the funding that supports efforts to eradicate the cause of the disease? There is such a disease - lead poisoning - and Congress did slash funding for lead poisoning prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the most recent federal budget. Every year more than half a million children are poisoned by lead in their homes, leaving them with irreversible brain damage that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2013
The number of Maryland children poisoned by lead fell to a new low again last year, even as state officials expanded their effort to deal with a much larger pool of youngsters harboring lower levels of the harmful substance in their blood. A report released Tuesday by the Department of the Environment said 364 children statewide were found in 2012 to have dangerous levels of lead in their blood. Last year's tally of 452 had been the lowest since testing began in 1993. Statewide, 110,539 children under the age of 6 were tested, an increase from the previous year, the report said.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Scott Calvert and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2013
Using funds meant to help poor families find affordable places to live, Baltimore's public housing agency has paid nearly $6.8 million in long-standing court judgments for lead poisoning suffered by six former residents when they were young children. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City refused for years to pay nearly $12 million in lead-paint injury judgments, saying it lacked the money. But then the agency began to satisfy some of the judgments, previously paying $5 million.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2012
Fewer children were poisoned by lead-based paint in 2011 than in any year since Maryland began tracking cases nearly two decades ago, prompting the state to expand its focus to newer rental properties and owner-occupied homes. A survey released Thursday by the state Department of the Environment showed 452 children had dangerous lead levels in their blood last year, down from more than 14,500 youngsters who tested positive for the substance in 1993. In 2010, 531 children were found to have the same level of lead poisoning.
NEWS
May 20, 2012
The reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut its threshold for lead poisoning from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms were something of a simplification. What the CDC said, after years of study and discussion, was that no level of lead exposure for children is safe. The 5-microgram level was set somewhat arbitrarily as the point at which doctors and public health officials would recommend parents take action to reduce their children's risk, but there is ample evidence to show that levels of 3 or 4 micrograms - and perhaps even lower - are associated with learning and attention deficit disorders later in life.
NEWS
By Jim Keck | February 25, 1991
AFTER many years, the problem of lead poisoning is finally receiving some well-deserved attention. Unfortunately, your series by Jack Reilly (Other Voices, Feb. 4-6) was so full of errors that it did more harm than good. Reilly has little background or experience in lead poisoning prevention, and his comments on the report of the Baltimore City Lead Poisoning Prevention Task Force reflected this lack. Let me help set the record straight.The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has categorized lead poisoning as the most serious environmental health problem affecting children in the United States today.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2012
The number of young children deemed at risk of lead poisoning in Maryland and nationwide expanded drastically Wednesday as a federal health agency declared it would effectively cut in half its threshold for diagnosing the environmental illness. Acknowledging mounting evidence that children can suffer lasting harm from ingesting even minute amounts of lead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would reduce the level at which it recommends that doctors, families and health authorities act to lower a child's exposure to the toxic metal.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | April 9, 2012
Legislation that would expand Maryland's efforts to curb childhood lead poisoning remains in limbo, as House and Senate members strive to settle their differences over whether to give landlords who follow state law any legal protection against lawsuits from poisoning victims. HB644 , which passed the House, would expand state regulation of rental housing with lead paint in it to cover units built between 1950 and 1978.  The original 1994 law covers rental homes built before 1950.  The bill also would authorize the state to regulate renovation, repair and painting of all homes containing lead-based paint, which if improperly done can generate toxic dust that could cause brain damage to infants and toddlers.
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