All Philadelphia babies should have an equal opportunity to grow and develop into healthy children and productive adults no matter where they live in the City. Tragically, this isn’t true when it comes to childhood lead poisoning. Most children are poisoned by lead-based paint in their older homes – and most (62%) are poisoned in a rental property.
For hundreds of years, lead has been known to be a neurotoxin and an environmental hazard, yet lead was not banned for residential use in the United States until 1978. In Philadelphia, nearly 90% of the housing stock was built before 1978.
Although the City of Philadelphia has made progress in reducing childhood lead poisoning rates and has recently taken steps toward increasing primary and secondary prevention measures, there are still too many children poisoned each year. To ensure that more children are protected from serious injury by lead poisoning, we must modify the Lead Paint Disclosure Law to include all pre-1978 rental units.