Lead poisoning is one of the foremost environmental health threats to children in the U.S. Almost a half million children - 2.2% of all pre-schoolers - have enough lead in their blood to reduce intelligence and attention span, cause learning disabilities, and damage permanently a child's brain and nervous system. Most children are poisoned by lead in and around their home when they are exposed to harmful levels of lead-contaminated dust, deteriorated lead-based paint, and lead-contaminated soil. Scorecard identifies the communities with the worst lead hazards and provides tools to prevent lead poisoning.
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NOTE: Potential hot spots of lead hazards in housing are identified based on indicators, not lead monitoring data. Because local data on lead contamination are generally unavailable, Scorecard relies on housing and demographic indicators to identify areas with housing that has a high risk of lead hazards. Scientific studies have demonstrated that housing built prior to 1950 and households with income below the poverty threshold have an elevated risk of lead contamination. Scorecard uses data from the 2000 U.S. Census for both of these risk factors to estimate potential lead hazards in housing.