Lead paint still poisons thousands of children, advocacy group urges action plan – Emergency rental assistance falls short for communities with greatest need

Lead-based paint was banned in the US in 1978, but thousands of kids in Pennsylvania are still exposed to the dangerous product.

Most homes in towns and boroughs throughout the state were built long before the ban, which means that many still have lead paint on their walls. Exposure to the lead through dust and chipping paint can cause permanent developmental delays in children under the age of six.

A report published this year by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids links lead exposure to future crime risk and urges remediation to prevent exposure to the element. The report also cites a concern that during the pandemic testing for lead stalled and now nearly ten thousand kids risk high exposure.

Appearing on Smart Talk Thursday to discuss the link between lead exposure in kids causing problems into adulthood are Bruce Clash, State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Dr. Karen Wang, MD, Director of Pediatrics, Berks Community Health Center, and Marilou Yingling, Lead Program Coordinator, Bureau of Health, City of York.

Emergency rental assistance falls short for communities with greatest need

With many Pennsylvanians out of work during the pandemic, a moratorium on evictions helped keep people in their homes. An emergency rental assistance fund also helped and included money from both the state and federal government.

The Keystone Research Center released data alleging that over $560 million earmarked for aid were misallocated by the state’s distribution formula and not enough of the share went to the more populous counties and cities.

Stephen Herzenberg is the Executive Director of Keystone Research Center who released the data and he joins Smart Talk Thursday to share details.