Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem

Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem

Saving Our Children's Future

1st Edition - October 1, 2022

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  • Author: David Jacobs
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780443187360

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Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem: Saving Our Children's Future documents the history of childhood lead poisoning from paint between 1970 and 2022. These years marked scientific progress that helped overcome technical, political and policy challenges, with important implications for solving other seemingly intractable problems.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 (acting before exposure), the book documents the changes in health, housing and environmental science and policy. It is the first book to examine in detail how the main 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 global healthy housing movement. Fifty Years of Peeling Away the Lead Paint Problem: Saving Our Children's Future 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. The references also include first-hand sources and extensive peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Key Features

  • Elucidates sources and pathways of lead paint exposure
  • Details how environment, housing and public health can best collaborate and how researchers and citizens can collaborate 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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 300
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: October 1, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780443187360

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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