Part 2: NYCHA Lead Poisoning: Do you or your children have it? 🏚😱

Written by: Cristi Paulino & Benjamin Kim, Graphics by: Bria Lemon-Johnson


Lead poisoning affects everybody, especially expectant mothers, elderly and children. When lead is absorbed in the body, it impacts the nervous system and gets stored in the bones. In kids, even a small dosage of lead can cause delays in brain development and aid in developmental delays and cause behavior issues. Lead in your system can also cause serious long-term effects like high blood pressure, kidney failure and Parkinson’s disease.

πŸ€·πŸΎβ€ What exactly is Lead Poisoning?

Lead is a highly toxic metal that when entered into the body, accumulates and causes serious problems. While lead is naturally found in the Earth’s Crust, the increase of human activity & pollution has created spaces where it now contaminates the water, soil, dust and air. Humans can only be poisoned if the lead is inhaled or ingested.

πŸ‘€ What does it look like?

According to, lead poisoning can be hard to detectβ€Šβ€”β€Ševen people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated. All the more reason to inspect your homes and get checked regularly to make sure you’re on the safe side.

⁉️ How do you know if you have lead in your body?

Typically, one requests a lead test where a physician measures the Blood Lead Levels (BLL) in the persons body. They’re measured in micrograms per deciliter and depending on the persons’s age and gender each percentage of lead can yield different results. For example, a child with a low dosage might have different results than an adult with the same dosage, simply because the child is still developing.

πŸ“Š Did You Know?

🀰🏾Young children and pregnant women absorb more lead than adults.

🍼 With a blood lead level (BLL) below 10 micrograms per deciliter (10 Β΅g/dL), lead can cross the placenta and can be found in breast milk.

πŸ•Ά Lead is an impostor. It is so similar to calcium that human cells take on lead instead.

πŸŽ“Lower intelligence, difficulty in paying attention and with fine motor skills, and lower academic achievement have all been connected to elevated lead levels

πŸ₯ŠSome studies have also linked lead exposure to violent behavior, and higher crime rates that can span at least two generations.

πŸ€•It impairs specific parts of the brain responsible for executive functions andit impairs the communication channels between these parts of the brain

⚀Although both sexes are affected by lead, the neurological impact turns out to be greater among boys than girls.

πŸ™ƒπŸ’‰ Other recent studies link even minuscule blood lead levels with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Even at concentrations well below those usually considered safeβ€Šβ€”β€Šlevels still common todayβ€Šβ€”β€Šlead increases the odds of kids developing ADHD

✊🏾Stay WOKE!

πŸ‘‡πŸ½Below is a visual of lead levels in children, what they mean and what to do for each level. For more info click here.

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