Prevention Took Many Forms in Different Places
Written in 1987, this article focuses on lead as a household hazard and discusses a bill that was being considered in Massachusetts that would require lead to be removed from houses before being sold or rented. The article suggested a similar bill would be useful in both Nebraska and Iowa (Olson, 1987). Because it would cause a change in structure that would help increase the amount of remediated properties within Douglas County, “Lead Poisoning Gets a Closer Look at Home Hazard” is an important legacy of the work of Dr. Angle and Dr. McIntire as it pushes forward their advocacy and invovlemnt in homes in order to move to primary protection instead of secondary prevention. Dr. Angle is even quoted saying, “We may need a similar bill. Omaha may well be found to rank high on a list of areas with dangerous concentrations of lead,” (Olson, 1987). This would help to protect those who cannot afford to move into newer housing that has less chance of using lead paint. This law was successfully passed in 1987 leading to stricter regulations on residential properties as it required that the lead paint be removed before the home could be sold.
Dr. Angle’s advocacy around childhood lead poisoning extends beyond in-home health hazards as well. She goes on to say, “Soil in much of downtown Omaha is known to contain high levels of lead,” (Olson, 1987). She references the slowly building consensus that much of the soil surrounding major roadways and near ASARCO and other companies contained a significant amount of lead. The article, thus, advocates for housing in the total environment, not just the paint but for all of the housing to be completely lead free before being sold.
The article also discusses the public outreach and education around lead poisoning taking place. as the parents are often taking their children in to get tested if they notice the children eating paint chips or ingesting other questionable substances. This is helpful in understanding the contemporary testing that took place in Omaha. It also discusses that it is free to get tested in Omaha and, if you live in Douglas County, can take place within homes. This free testing and having testing accessible to take place in homes helps to increase the numbers tested as it encourages testing for all and not just those who have access to affordable health care. An important thing to note is that not only was Dr. Angle and Dr. McIntire’s work incredibly helpful in discovering and documenting the lead poisoning but their advocacy as scientists led to the change we see today.
Olson, C. (1987) Lead Poisoning Gets Closer Look As Home Hazard. Omaha World-Herald (NE), NewsBank: Access World News. https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?