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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Industrial Lead Poisoning in Los Angeles: Anatomy of a Public Health Failure.

Authors: Johnston, Jill E; Hricko, Andrea

Published In Environ Justice, (2017 Oct 01)

Abstract: The recent environmental tragedy in Flint, Michigan, where lead-contaminated drinking water raised fears of potential health effects for exposed children, revealed the failure of a regulatory system to protect residents from lead exposure. Flint is clearly not alone as a community of color where residents are disproportionately exposed to lead from paint, dust, soil, or water. In southeast Los Angeles County, California, a facility that recycled lead-acid batteries has polluted the air and soil of communities nearby for decades. Termed as "environmental disaster" by the governor, this large-scale pollution of the air and soil in largely Latino communities is emblematic of the continued risk associated with facilities that make or recycle lead-acid batteries. We discuss the influence of industrial lead emissions on public health, the roles of agencies charged with prevention of lead exposure in California, and the fractured system that allowed this large-scale contamination to persist for decades. Finally, we offer recommendations on how public agencies can improve public health surveillance of lead exposures and step out of their individual "silos" to share information and collaborate to better protect vulnerable children, workers, and communities.

PubMed ID: 30687453 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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