Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem

Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem

Saving Our Children's Future with Healthy Housing

1st Edition - September 24, 2022

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  • Author: David Jacobs
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780443187360
  • eBook ISBN: 9780443187377

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Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem: Saving Our Children's Future with Healthy Housing documents the history of childhood lead poisoning from paint between 1970 and 2022. Tracing the failure of the medical model (treatment after exposure) that marked the 1970s and 1980s and its replacement with a prevention housing-focused effort, the book documents the changes in health, housing and environmental science and policy. It is the first book to examine how the lead poisoning law in the U.S. was passed in 1992 and later implemented, with implications for the future, in particular, the emergence of a healthy housing movement. The book describes the roles played by Congress, various administrations, agencies, local governments, the private sector, researchers, and a popular citizen's movement, especially parents. The role of the courts is discussed, including a controversial lead paint case on research ethics in Baltimore through an environmental justice lens. This book is the first to examine another recent case in California, where ten local jurisdictions established a precedent by successfully suing the lead paint industry to help pay for abatement.

Key Features

  • Elucidates sources and pathways of lead paint exposure
  • Details how the environment, housing and public health sectors can best collaborate with researchers and citizens to develop and implement change in housing and health
  • Contains new stories and archived scientific data not available elsewhere


Public Health, Environmental Health and Housing Professionals

Table of Contents

  • PART 1. Paralysis and the Abject Failure to Address Lead Paint Before 1985
    1. Banning Lead Paint: The Missed Opportunity
    2. Early Failures and the Seeds of Success

    PART 2. Breaking the Barriers to Progress (1986-2001)
    3. Solutions Take Shape: The Lead Paint Title X Law
    4. Growing Pains: New Regulations, Enforcement, Local Capacity and Proof Emerge
    5. The Nation Acts: Community Organizing, a 10-Year Solution from the President’s Cabinet, and Political Sabotage
    6. Research Ethics and The Grimes Court Case

    PART 3. The New Consensus (2001-2020)
    7. If You Make a Mess, You Have to Clean It Up: The Rhode Island and California Court Decisions
    8. The US and International Healthy Homes Movement
    9. Reframing Health, Environment and Housing
    10. Conclusion: The Triumph of Science and Citizen Action over Policy Paralysis

Product details

  • No. of pages: 460
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: September 24, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780443187360
  • eBook ISBN: 9780443187377

About the Author

David Jacobs

Dave Jacobs led the US childhood lead poisoning prevention efforts from 1995-2004, when he directed the lead paint and healthy homes office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rare scientist to work across the housing, health, and environmental fields, Dr. Jacobs helped design, reform and implement evidence-based policies, laws, and regulations that together with mobilized citizens and parents protected millions of children from lead poisoning. Currently Chief Scientist at the National Center for Healthy Housing, he holds appointments in the Schools of Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago and Johns Hopkins University and has testified before Congress, most recently in August 2021. He is Director of the US Collaborating Center for Healthy Housing Research and Training for the World Health Organization. He has more than a hundred peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He holds degrees in technology and science policy, environmental health, engineering, and political science and is board certified in occupational health.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief Scientist, National Center for Healthy Housing, IL, USA

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  • Larry C. Thu Dec 08 2022

    Academic Excellence!

    I think the book is amazing and should be required reading for anyone entering the field of healthy housing and child lead poisoning prevention! It gave me so much insight into strategies for moving our program forward because it provided me with so much information on how we got to where we are today. I really appreciate the history as well as better understanding the science!