Interview: Lead poisoning and the housing boom

Mar 29, 2018


This is part of our series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the region.


The problem of lead poisoning in the Bay Area might be even bigger than the numbers show. In some cities, the housing boom is adding to the problem. Families and property owners are renovating old homes or tearing down the homes to rebuild — homes that have lead paint on them. All that construction is creating a lot of lead dust in the environment. The City of Emeryville developed an ordinance to deal with this problem. John Bauters, the Mayor, spoke with KALW's Hana Baba about this solution.

“When you take off the siding of an old house, when you scrape paint without proper lead safe practices, you’re basically exposing the environment to lead hazards. As people come in and want to renovate or tear down old homes and build more modern housing, we just need to do the demolition in a safe and responsible manner to ensure we don’t expose children to a lead based risk.”

Click the audio player above to listen to the full story.

Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area” will be airing Monday - Thursday all this week at 5 p.m.