Cleveland's Lead Crisis

]The Plain Dealer/ has been doing wonderful work in exposing the man made lead crisis In Cleveland

Summary of Plain Dealer/ Toxic Neglect series (2015)

October 18, 2015, Cuyahoga County lead poisoning high risk suburbs screening rates: Toxic Neglect

October 18, 2015, How lead poisoning is measured: Toxic Neglect  

October 19, 2015, 5 common lead poisoning myths explained: Toxic Neglect

October 19, 2015 Toxic Neglect: How lead poisoning threatens our kids and what can be done about it

October 20, 2015 
A look at lead poisoning through the years: Toxic Neglect (photos)

October 20, 2015 Toxic Neglect: Curing Cleveland's legacy of lead poisoning  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In the past five years, lead poisoning has set at least 10,000 Cleveland area children on a potential path to failure before they've even finished kindergarten.

October 20, 2015 Even low levels of lead poisoning have a big impact on health of kids: Toxic Neglect  
Every year in our region, more than a dozen infants and toddlers like Haneen are hospitalized when blood tests find lead at dangerously high levels in their bodies. Their cases are the worst of the worst, with lead levels from nine to 14 times higher than thethreshold set by the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAnother 2,000 children — at least that we know of by testing — are poisoned by lead in Cuyahoga County every year at amounts that don't send them to the hospital but irreversibly damage their brains, nerves and growing bodies. Far more are likely harmed but never tested.

October 20, 2015 Toddler refugee suffers lead poisoning in Cleveland home: Toxic Neglect

October 20, 2015 What to do if your child tests positive for lead poisoning: Toxic Neglect 

October 20, 2015   Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce lead hazards in your home

October 20, 2015 Dismal lead poisoning screening skews the scope of the problem: Toxic Neglect  
Over the past five years in Cuyahoga County more than 13 percent of young children screened for lead had the toxin in their blood.That, however, is based on a very low screening rate -- 20 to 30 percent of children at best.

October 20, 2015 Should your child be tested for lead poisoning?: Toxic Neglect

October 21, 2015 Without enforcement, laws to tackle lead poisoning of little use: Toxic Neglect 
In 2006, Cleveland City Council passed a law aimed at enticing landlords to voluntarily prove their homes were safe from lead-based paint hazards that continue to cause irreversible brain damage and lifelong health problems for small children.  Nine years later, not one has done so.

October 21, 2015 A dream home turns into a lead hazard nightmare for one Cleveland grandmother: Toxic Neglect  

October 21, 2015 For a mother, lead poisoning means constant worries, landlord battles: Toxic Neglect (videos)

October 21, 2015 Has lead poisoning contributed to Cleveland's crime woes?: Toxic Neglect  
The link between childhood exposure to the heavy-metal toxin and crime, long viewed with skepticism, has gained support among researchers and scientists who study the brain and crime trends.

October 21, 2015   A look at the steep cost of lead poisoning: Toxic Neglect  
For every dollar spent to control lead hazards, between $17 and $221 could be saved, a 2009 study by Elise Gould at the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute found.

October 22, 2015 Lead poisoning makes education harder for kids and teachers: Toxic Neglect 

October 22, 2015 Race, racism and lead poisoning: Toxic Neglect

October 22, 2015 Investigations and court cases don't always result in Cleveland lead hazards getting fixed: Toxic Neglect  
But over the past five years, the city failed to inspect at least half of the homes or apartments where one or more lead-poisoned children lived, records show. When city lead inspectors did investigate and identify a hazard, it got fixed less than half the time, leaving hundreds of known lead hazards unaddressed.

10/23/15 Cleveland doesn't have a 'lead-safe' registry, so we made one: Toxic Neglect

December 15,2015 What you need to know from Cleveland City Council's hearing on lead poisoning

January 14, 2016 City officials 'optimistic' about troubled lead poisoning program

February 4, 2016 Three things to know from today's City Council lead poisoning hearing

March 13, 2016 Here are two Cleveland parents' questions about lead poisoning that got cut from tonight's Democratic presidential town hall in Columbus 

August 22, 2016 PD reports Cleveland is considering Lead Safe Ordinance     One worrying element in the article is the suggestion that: "Cleveland officials... appear to lean toward visual inspections in order to keep lower the financial burden on city workers, landlords and tenants." Visual inspections for chipping paint is neither scientific or effective at identifying a hazard.and the financial burden of dust swipes is minimal. 
Where is the problem in Cuyahoga County?

September 1, 2016  Cleveland plans to address lead, safety issues in rentals with routine inspections

 What's News? (2017)

5/19/17 Legal Aid Society sues Cleveland on behalf of toddler reports: "The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland has asked a court to order the City of Cleveland to follow state laws designed to protect children from being lead poisoned. The city has, for more than six months, failed to protect a toddler it knew was harmed by lead hazards in her West Side rental home, according to the lawsuit, filed Thursday afternoon in the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals. 
But the case isn't about one child. It is about hundreds of children living in the city who are potentially affected by years of city inaction, attorneys say.

March 26, 2017 Ohio Department of Health to publish homes that remain a lead hazard statewide
Rachel and Brie report: "The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will soon make public the location of homes with unaddressed lead hazards as part of its stepped up oversight on investigations of childhood lead poisoning cases, officials said."
Two stories on Thursday September 1st detail the city's plans to add lead to the "to do" list of current inspections and to increase landlord registration. Here's the stories.
     More health and safety visual inspections.
1. Lead is not visible. Without testing, landlords are free to scrape and sand chipping/peeling paint which releases dust into the air of the home. Much more lethal than chips.
2.  Housing inspectors aren't trained to look for chipping/peeling paint. That's always been one of those "cosmetic" issues that inspectors customarily ignore.
3. If chipping and peeling were reported, it still doesn't trigger Federal Disclosure rules that landlords are required to give to prospective tenants.
4. Increasing inspection won't last. Some other priority will come along and bingo--concentrated inspections are history. A housing court official told RHINO that the court saw two lead cases in 2015, while there were reportedly 10,000 addresses where the city knew that a poisoned child had lived.
5. Here's the kiss of death for a routine inspection program. According to the article: "The city will need more money to make the interior rental inspection program work the way it should..." according to Building and Housing Director Ron O'Leary. Remember what happened to the 10,000 houses known to be poisoned that were never inspected? There was no money! Call this proposal for what it is: another PR effort to pass the payroll tax increase.
     Increase rental registration is a good idea if the goal is to do enforcement. Toledo is gearing up to identify 50,000 units to be inspected in the next two years. Part of the plan is to start with the county tax duplicate to identify all pre-1978 units and the county rental registration program which is mandated by state law. Cleveland's plan seems to be more PR to encourage voluntary registration.
1. Who believes the city knows how to register rental units, even when it's in their financial interest to do so. In an earlier PD/ story, reporters estimated that only 30% of Cleveland's rental properties are registeredMay as well pay a bounty to the local community development corporations for each rental registration they can deliver. 
2. The worst landlords won't voluntarily register in order to avoid even a cursory inspection
    The only sensible program is mandatory scientific testing of every pre-1978 rental unit. So far the Jackson administration has shown itself to be more interested in protecting property owners than children. Babies don't vote; they need moms, dads, grandparents, uncles & aunts and neighbors to vote for them.            posted September 1, 2016

No local funds for poisoned children but... 
Cleveland managed to find funds for spots teams, a new chandelier and the Republican National Convention. Give me a break. reports: "For the city, that amounted to more than $2.4 million from 2004 to 2010 to support its program, according to grant amounts provided by city spokesman Daniel Williams. After steep cuts to the CDC's budget, that money dried up and 'the state has not stepped up the way it should.' Ohio currently doesn't allocate any state money to clean up lead hazards. Cleveland, however, failed to tap into available reimbursements for conducting investigations, state officials said November. It said the city had failed to submit proper paperwork to be reimbursed up to $360,000 for inspections in homes where low-income children lived. City health officials said this week the program, which draws from Medicaid, pays $600 for a completed inspection that costs the city about $750. The city also lost out on lucrative U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants to remediate homes with identified lead hazards after warnings for several years that it was not spending the federal millions fast enough."