Tag: Lead Contamination

Lead keeps poisoning children. It doesn’t have to.

SANTA ANA, California — The news came as a shock: Lead, lurking somewhere in Nalleli Garrido’s home, was poisoning her 1-year-old son.

His pediatrician instructed her to clean all the toys of her toddler, Ruben, keep the home dust-free and prevent him from playing in the bare soil outside her rented bungalow in Santa Ana’s Logan neighborhood. She did all she could. But the dust kept sneaking in.

No one offered an alternative. The only solution she and her husband could find was to get out. In 2019, after two years of constant worry, they moved north to the city of Buena Park, buying a home with a grassy yard — not an exposed patch of soil like her Santa Ana front yard, where the toxic metal could be found in concentrations as high as 148 parts of lead per million parts of soil. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment considers 80 parts per million and above dangerous for children.

“I was terrified to take my son out,” said Garrido, a psychiatric nurse. “Even walking through the yard, I would tell my kids to hold their breath. ‘Don’t breathe that in, don’t breathe in the dust.’” Read more.