What You Need To Know
The hidden threat of things like lead exposure in bigger cities

Some of the bigger cities, not just throughout the United States, but in fact throughout the entire world have one thing in common.

Tags: Lead
Guest Post ,

Buffalo City Hall
Buffalo City Hall

Some of the bigger cities, not just throughout the United States, but in fact throughout the entire world have one thing in common. It’s a thing that both gives them a lot of the charm and appeal that they have, as well as giving them some of the dangers that older cities have as well.

While they aren’t very popular issues to talk about, there’s no denying that bigger cities are known for their higher crime rates than smaller cities are, and the speculations as to why that may be inherent are many.

Some like to believe that it may be the seeming lack of accountability towards your fellow citizens that lead to the fact that bigger cities tend to have higher crime rates, others believe that it stems from the fact that problematic, low income areas are congregated in small parts of the city, and that all the different components come together, and once one social problem arises, the butterfly effect includes increased crime rates as well.

However, crime isn’t the only thing that you may find in bigger cities that poses a major problem. There has previously been speculation as to why there would be a notable difference in the IQs of people that live in the countryside versus people that live in the city, with several articles, like this one from QZ, talking about those with the highest IQs growing up in the country, however moving to the city at later points in their life.

The theory that was prevalent for the longest time was that increased exposure to lead was ultimately causing the difference in the disparities in IQs between the different demographics, especially given the fact that lead used to be added to gas back in the day.

Today, it is common knowledge that lead exposure has a lot of associated risks with it, and that it is extremely crucial that you are careful in making sure that you take various measures if you know that the home you live in has deteriorating lead paint in it.

And although most people are now aware of the consequences of lead exposure, there are still many companies out there like Check4Lead that run into homeowners confused about testing practices, as well as the necessary documentation requirements when it comes to doing home improvement in the affected residential spaces.

The fact of the matter is that the exposure to this type of heavy metal is predominantly a risk that exists in cities where large portions of the housing available is rather old and there is a definite reason why that is the case.

The bigger cities around the world, as well as more specifically around the United States are generally cities that have been in the making for several centuries and rarely are they ever cities that have fully managed to be built in the last roughly 40 years. The number 40 is important since it has been roughly 40 years since significant action was taken to severely limit the lead exposure stemming from its inclusion in residential paint.

While its inclusion may have been limited back in the day, the health consequences from its use prevail in bigger cities. Many cities never set aside the necessary budgets to properly abate the old paint once it would start deteriorating, at which point the lead would start flaking and its dangerous particles would be unleashed into the air.

Without the necessary protection, usually done in the manner of abating old paint would be neglected, despite the fact that something as cheap as a $3 swab would be able to prove the presence of the dangerous lead paint. Abatement often running at a cost of thousands of dollars per residence would make it prohibitively expensive to do in places like inner city homes, often under the command of public budgets. People living in public housing often live in rundown houses where maintenance has been negligible, at the expense of the most vulnerable members of society growing up with literal lead paint flakes falling down around them.

The lack of political interest in a topic that has been hard to quantify the damaging effects of have unfortunately meant that funding has been limited. In addition, since it is an especially prevalent problem among the poorest members of society, many believe that this has only exacerbated the lack of interest in the topic among the most influential members of society.

However, despite being a prevalent issue among society’s poorest, the inclusion of lead paint is a significant issue also in private housing as it has often been thought to simply be easier to cover up the existing paint rather than have the old paint abated, and have the issue properly addressed.

Lead exposure unfortunately remains an issue that is very much so associated with living in a major city, and despite various campaigns to raise awareness about the topic, seems to get only limited traction among those members of society who could move the needle politically.