I went to a preview of an almost finished documentary movie on lead poisoning, Mislead: America’s Secret Epidemic. It shows that many cases of ADD, ADHD, and autism are caused by lead poisoning. 1/3 of the kids in the US have unsafe levels of lead. It recommends having kids’ blood tested for lead and having houses tested for lead if the kids’ level is high. Also it mentioned a report where most of the decline in violent crime is due to a decrease in lead from leaded gasoline.
It might make a good play. It is going around to some film festivals. It reminded me of the syphilis play David Feldshur did (where doctors and officials chose not to treat black men with antibiotics who had syphilis, because they wanted to prove that black men would go through the same stages before death as white men, to whom they gave the antibiotics). Lead poisoning costs $50.9 billion per year, just for some of the costs. There was a court judgment in December, 2013, in California.
Tamara, the director and interviewer in the film, spoke at the preview. She targets the movie at mothers and pregnant women between the ages of 20 to 42. The goal is to get them upset so they will pressure the government to force cleanups of homes and schools. There is a payback of between 20 and 200 to 1 for every dollar spent in prevention. The California case involved a tobacco lawyer and took 13 years, but it may be overturned or limited by the appeal court. Maybe an anti-tobacco law firm would be interested in financing the writing of a play. Maybe I should write a play. The director said that for TV, they want more of a story or reality TV slant showing how hard it is to live with a child with difficulties. The EPA is prevented from requiring cleanups of lead in schools and homes by the power of the paint and lead industries that lobby and donate money to politicians.
What do you know about lead poisoning? Have you had your children tested? Leave a comment below.
Posted on March 8, 2014