Trump administration strips funding from program protecting kids from lead paint

Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency wants to kill two crucial programs that prevent excessive exposure of lead-based paint products to children.

Lead-based paint is known to cause damage to the brain and the nervous system, this is because lead is classified as a neurotoxin and can be fatal to children and elderly in high doses.

“Lead can be extremely dangerous for young children and can affect their lives forever,” Dr. John Rosen, director of the lead program at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, told WebMD. “It is better to be conservative and safe and not ever sorry about excessive lead exposure.”

Dr. Rosen further elaborated that lead poisoning doesn’t come on all at once after a child eats paint chips from a window with lead-based paint, but comes on through years of exposure.

“I have supervised 30,000 cases of child lead poisoning, and I have not seen a case of symptomatic lead poisoning for many years,” he said.

The elimination of these programs would strip away outlets that provides safety information for the removal of lead-based paint and and would cripple the EPA’s means of educating the public on safety hazards.

Though lead has been banned from paint for decades, it still can be found in over 38 million homes across the country built prior to 1978. Paint ages and turns into strips, chips, and dust, it can be highly dangerous to children. The targeted programs are intended to help remove threats from lead as homes are sold and remodeled.

One of the programs, The Lead Risk Reduction Program,  is expected to be cut by $2.56 million, while it formerly provided valuable training to professional re-modelers instructing on how to safely strip away old, lead-based paint.

According to the Washington Post, the proposed cuts would decrease the program’s budget by $16.6 million and would downsize their workforce by more that 70 employees.

 

Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers racial justice and political issues for the Resistance Report. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com.