This Health video will focus on the EPA research which states that a million children are at risk of lead poisoning.
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Dr. Dean Edell: Herculaneum, Missouri, is a small town facing a big threat. Jack Warden: I walk out of my front door every morning and the first thing I see is a smokestack. Dr. Dean Edell: This is lead Jack Warden scooped right off the street. Jack Warden: There is a lead contamination there. Dr. Dean Edell: Herculaneum is a home to the nation’s largest lead smelter and children here have some of the highest lead levels in the country. Jack Warden: My nephew tested at a blood lead level of 26 at the age of three. Dr. Dean Edell: The CDC says 10 is safe but lead expert, Herbert Needleman, has a different opinion. Herbert Needleman: It looks like there may be no safe amount of lead in the blood. Dr. Dean Edell: He compared lead levels of delinquent kids in Pittsburgh too well-behaved kids. Herbert Needleman: We found that the bone lead levels in the delinquent subjects were 9-11 times as high as they were in the normal children. Dr. Dean Edell: Lead also causes delays in mental development, decreased attention span, hearing problems, learning disabilities and headaches. Herbert Needleman: So we need to get some silicon. Dr. Dean Edell: Jack’s son, Eric, is shorter than average and has ADHD. Jack Warden: It's not fair to any child in Herculaneum. Dr. Dean Edell: Lead can be a threat anywhere. More than 80% of homes built before 1978 contain lead paint or pipes. Test kits are available to find out if your home is affected. Herbert Needleman: The effects of lead are permanent and the outcomes are associated with life success. Dr. Dean Edell: I’m Dr. Dean Edell.