Hannah Yoon

Photographer
   
The Guardian : Lead Poisoning in Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia
Nationality: Canadian
Biography: Currently, a freelance photographer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My background is in photojournalism and documentary photography. I am a graduate of the photojournalism program at Loyalist College. In 2014 I was the recipient of the Tom... read on
Public Story
The Guardian : Lead Poisoning in Philadelphia
Credits: hannah yoon
Updated: 02/26/20
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'It was everywhere': how lead is poisoning America's poorest children
The toxin has endangered hundreds of thousands of kids. 

Reporter Nina Lakhani worked on a story for the Guardian US about lead poisoning in children in Philadelphia. We met two families that shared their stories with us.
First, Shanaya Ball and her son, Amari, are dealing with the ramifications of living in a house that had lead in all the baseboards, window frames and door frames. She only found out her son had high levels of lead in his blood after he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Her landlord took over 3 months to take care of the paint in the house and by then it was too late. Amari grew up breathing this in since he was born.
Second, I met Fatu and he family. Both Fatu's daughter, Cissy, and youngest son, Aly, had lead poisoning due to the paint in their home.
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'In Philadelphia, 7.6% of under-sevens tested in 2018 – or 2,881 children – had blood lead levels of 5µg/dL or higher, according to recently published figures. The actual number is probably significantly higher, as only 30% of children were tested.
The lead burden is unevenly spread: an investigation by the Philadelphia Inquirer found that as many as one in five children are poisoned in the city’s poorest neighborhoods where mostly black, Latinx and migrant families live. About two-thirds live in rental properties.
“Lead poisoning is entirely preventable, but once the damage is done, it’s done. I don’t have anything in my back pocket to help, and the ramifications are long-term,” said George Dalembert, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.'
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If you're renting a home in the city, this is something you should look into, especially if it's an older home. Investing in ways to tackle this problem may be costly at first, but it will prevent the cost to take care of children with lead poisoning.
'The investment would protect more than 311,000 children from low-income families over 10 years. Replacing lead water pipes would yield a further $2.7bn in future benefits.'



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