News Briefs

Missouri Independent, Midwest Newsroom host discussion on high levels of lead in children

By: - April 18, 2022 11:52 am

Unleaded is a joint investigation by The Missouri Independent and the Midwest Newsroom exploring the issue of high levels of lead in the children in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Thousands of children in the Midwest continue to have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

On Tuesday at 7p.m., join The Missouri Independent and NPR’s Midwest Newsroom for a Facebook Live discussion of the issue, which is the subject of a months-long collaborative investigation by the two organizations. Tune in to hear more and ask questions. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said no amount of lead is safe, but journalists Niara Savage and Allison Kite reported last week in the first major story in the joint investigation that lead poisoning remains a persistent issue for children in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

“It’s easy to assume that lead poisoning is a thing of the past since it’s been banned from residential paint for more than 40 years,” Kite said. “But while it has declined precipitously since the mid 20th century, we’re finding legacy lead contamination is a stubborn issue that’s still harming Midwestern kids.” 

Guests for the virtual event will include Lisa Pascoe, a St. Louis mom who’s son tested for lead poisoning; Elizabeth Friedman, a physician and director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa: and Savage, the reporting fellow with the NPR Midwest Newsroom and Missouri Independent. 

Engagement fellow Samantha Horton will be moderating the conversation. 

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