Why is Lead-Based Paint Poisoning City Children?

For decades, dangerous levels of lead was added to paint. Children often eat this poisonous paint when it becomes old and flakes off of walls. This situation often happens in poorer city neighborhoods where the lead paint was never removed, or removed improperly.

If the existence of lead paint in city dwellings, playgrounds and on bridges has been a recognized problem, and there are laws mandating its removal, why do people want tougher laws?

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Task One

Answer the following questions using the resources provided below.

  1. Using the resources below, create a list of the dangers of lead paint poisoning.

  2. Using the resources below, describe how people become poisoned by lead. Include a list of sources of lead poisoning in your description.

  3. How are Brooklyn children affected by lead poisoning?

  4. Describe how people are trying to get the city government to recognize what they see as a lead poisoning problem?

Task Two

Write a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg regarding the latest City Council bill to force landlords and others to remove lead-based paint from their properties.

Write your letter as if you were one of the following persons

  • A landlord
  • A parent
  • A tenant



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Process (Things to think about)

How do you find and evaluate information on public issues of interest?

How do citizens become more involved in working on a public issue?

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Defining lead paint poising as a public policy issue

Why One Out of Three Bedford-Stuyvesant Children are Growing Up in Housing that Impairs Their Cognitive Development

Why are children more likely to poisoned by lead paint?

How is lead paint poisoning New Yorkers today

Lead paint dust falls from subway line

Opposition to Local Law 38

Into 101 explained

New York Daily News article by Juan Gonzalez

City Council agrees on a bill to force home owners to remove lead paint (Nov. 6, 2003).

New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning

Agencies to help with lead paint

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 Evaluation  (How you will be graded)


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State Standards 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4, National Standards II, III and V according to the New York State Department of Education standards of Public Policy and Political Participation

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  Updated 01/11/04