Lead Paint

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Lead-Based Paint Still a Hazard for California’s Most Vulnerable Children

hree year old Antonio suffered hearing loss after eating lead-based paint chips as a toddler. (Lauren M. Whaley/CHCF Center for Health Reporting)

Three year old Antonio suffered hearing loss after eating lead-based paint chips as a toddler. (Lauren M. Whaley/CHCF Center for Health Reporting)

By Kelley WeissCHCF Center for Health Reporting

Children’s advocates are hoping for a big Christmas present this year – a billion dollars to remove toxic lead paint from homes. A Santa Clara Superior Court judge has until the end of the year to decide if paint companies should pay to get rid of lead paint still in thousands of older homes around the state.

While California’s lead poisoning cases have declined, especially over the last two decades, children’s advocates say the most vulnerable children are still at risk because they don’t have enough money to reach the finish line.

Two counties are trying to fix the problem with the resources they have.

Alameda County is one of the ten counties and cities involved in the lawsuit.

Two years ago Nathaniel Stone was living in an East Oakland apartment with one-year-old Antonio. Stone is Antonio’s legal guardian and is in the process of adopting him. The home they lived in had a lot of peeling paint.

One day when Stone was cooking in the kitchen from across the room he saw that Antonio seemed to be eating something. Stone checked it out and found Antonio with paint chips in his mouth. Continue reading