Lead remains an issue in the Midwest, according to report

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The lead industry certainly has an extensive history in the Midwest, even in Lincoln. Decades later, it remains.

“Lead, once it’s in the environment, it’s hard to get out”, says NPR reporter Niara Savage. “Even though that lead mining might not be happening anymore, it’s still in the soil and it just persists there. It’s hard to get rid of that. That’s why we see some of the soil remediation projects in a lot of the midwest states.”

Add in all our old houses that used lead paint and you’ve got a homegrown threat, even if you’ve done some renovations. That was the case for Missouri mom Lisa Pascoe, whose son suffered lead poisoning at a young age.

“Where we found it was on the windows. The window frames were not renovated”, she says. “They were one of the few things in the house that weren’t fixed or updated. The house was completely brick except for these wood-painted frames around the windows.”

The lead actually ended up outside the house. No matter where it’s encountered, though, lead can be devastating.

Elizabeth Friedman is a physician and director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. She explains, “Even at the very low levels of exposure, we know that lead can adversely affect neuro and cognitive development in children. There is absolutely sufficient evidence to support this statement.”

You can never be too careful. If you are worried about potential lead exposure, the best thing you can do is to get tested. If your home is a haven for lead, there are many abatement options available.

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