Why Lead Poisoning Rates in Eureka are Higher than in Flint, Michigan

Translate

By | Kelly Bessum

A recent Reuters report showed that the lead poisoning rate of children in Eureka is 10.9 percent, more than one in every 10 kids. This is more that twice the rate seen in Flint, Michigan which had a 5 percent rate. Contrary to speculation spurred by a Lost Coast Outpost article, the heavy metal is not linked to lead pipes like in Flint. Almost every case in Humboldt has been linked to the lead-based paint in aged homes, as confirmed by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services.

Lead exposure risks according to housing and poverty data in Humboldt County, CA (left) and Genesee County, MI (right). Data Source: Rad Cunninghnam, Washington State Department of Health / Map Credit: Sarah Frostenson / Web Source: Vox
Lead exposure risks according to housing and poverty data in Humboldt County, CA (left) and Genesee County, MI (right). Data Source: Rad Cunninghnam, Washington State Department of Health / Map Credit: Sarah Frostenson / Web Source: Vox

Water and related infrastructure is good in Humboldt County and people should feel free to drink the tap water as they wish. Humboldt’s water infrastructure was deemed good to excellent and safe for providing clean water in an independent review done by the American Society of Civil Engineers. There have also been no water quality violations recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency in the county in the past 10 years.

The real issue of lead paint in Humboldt County remains. According to the New York Times, the effects of lead exposure are often irreversible and preventing them should be a priority. Lead has been connected to decreased intellectual capacity and negative social behaviors. As Seen in the graphic, Vox used the age of houses and poverty rates to create a nationwide map that shows lead exposure risk by census tract. Though Flint was deemed more at risk, Humboldt County children are still facing higher actual exposure.

Greg Moskowitz, a Humboldt State business major, lives in an apartment where lead paint was recently removed. He noted that many renters in Humboldt County are subjected to living in places with lead paint.

“I still know a lot of people who are living with lead paint and I’d like to see something done,” Moskowitz said. “City hall should set a certain date that lead paint needs to be removed from residences in Humboldt County.”

Lead exposure risks according to housing and poverty data in Humboldt County, CA (left) and Genesee County, MI (right). Data Source: Rad Cunninghnam, Washington State Department of Health / Map Credit: Sarah Frostenson / Web Source: Vox
Lead exposure risks according to housing and poverty data in Humboldt County, CA (left) and Genesee County, MI (right). Data Source: Rad Cunninghnam, Washington State Department of Health / Map Credit: Sarah Frostenson / Web Source: Vox


Currently, landlords are only obligated by federal law to disclose whether or not their building could have lead-based paint. No further action aside from educating people on how to live with lead paint is required. The Humboldt County website states that lead exposure is the most common and preventable environmental threat to young children in the U.S. Visit the county website to get lead poisoning prevention tips.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply