Cutting Lead Poisoning and Public Costs

Feb 22, 2010

Despite dramatic improvements over the past 30 years, lead poisoning remains a serious hazard for hundreds of thousands of young children across the country. Lead exposure can cause significant biological and neurological damage, resulting in cognitive and behavioral impairment that can affect children’s lifelong success. A new study finds continuing risks, especially to low-income children who live in older housing with lead paint, and the potential for significant cost savings from reduced rates of lead exposure. This report concludes that returns on large-scale lead abatement efforts would yield at least $17 per dollar invested, saving billions of taxpayer dollars through a range of social benefits.
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