This project evaluates the effectiveness of the establishment of the Lead Court in November 2002 in the City of Philadelphia to determine if this type of innovative legal strategy was effective in enforcing the existing city health code, which would lead to improvement of children's health (by reducing exposure to lead in individual housing units) and improvement of the environment (by decreasing the number of properties with lead hazards).
Although lead paint was banned by federal law in 1978, it continues to poison children living in homes built before that time. Federal and state laws have reduced rates of lead poisoning significantly in the past three decades. However, pockets of high rates of lead poisoning remain, primarily in low-income urban neighborhoods with older housing stock. Recently, several municipalities have passed local lead laws to reduce lead hazards in high-risk areas. This analysis suggests that local laws hold great promise for reducing lead hazards in children's homes.
This study considers mandates requiring the partial replacement of lead pipes and the potential impact on rates of lead in the water.
The cumulative mass of lead release indicated that a typical partial replacement configuration did not provide a net reduction in lead when compared to 100 percent lead pipe. The partially replaced service line configuration also had a much greater likelihood of producing water with "spikes" of lead particulates at higher flow rates, while tending to produce lower levels of lead at very low flow rates.
Childhood lead poisoning is widely recognized as one of the most significant environmental health problems impacting children in the United States, as well as many other countries. Lead is one of the longest-known, best-understood, and most well-monitored environmental toxins. Most (but not all) children with elevated blood lead levels are exposed to lead through lead hazards in older housing. Local policy approaches aim to reduce childhood lead poisoning by reducing the prevalence of lead hazards in high-risk housing, and do so by improving maintenance practices and controlling lead hazards.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). The revisions will help reduce the public health problems caused by unsafe or toxic levels of lead in drinking water. This study will help identify gaps in existing policies on water sampling to measure lead levels, replacement of water lines that contain lead, and public education aimed at reducing exposure to lead.
This article evaluated the effectiveness of a comprehensive rental housing–based lead law adopted in Rochester, New York, in 2005 by integrating analyses of city inspections data, a survey of landlords, landlord focus groups, and health department data on children’s blood lead levels from the first 4 years of implementation of the 2005 law. Although many uncertainties remain, this study's analysis suggests that the lead law has had a positive impact on children’s health.