Oakland is a hot spot for lead contamination of children, study finds

By Annie Sciacca, Mercury News, December 25, 2021

“Children in many parts of Oakland are among the most at-risk in the state of being poisoned by lead, even though the hazardous metal component was outlawed decades ago, a new study has found.

“The study reviewed State Department of Public Health data that showed 53 percent of the 1,589 lead-poisoned kids in Alameda County between 2013 and 2018 were from Oakland.

“And of the 116 census tracts in the county identified as posing lead risks above the statewide 75th percentile, the 22 tracts ‘burdened’ the most were all in Oakland. Those accounted for the top 5 percent of census tracts statewide considered at highest risk.

Using nearly $10 million from a $305 million settlement received from several paint companies, “[Oakland] leaders have promised to implement recommendations [from an earlier city analysis] by launching an ambitious new program that would send inspectors out to search for lead instead of just responding to complaints.

“The city and [Alameda] county have agreed to later decide whether the remaining settlement funds should be used for that program or an extension of the county’s lead prevention efforts to Oakland.”

Read the full article here. (~3 min.)

Read the full statement from the City of Oakland about the results of the study and their next steps here.

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