Lead Poisoning In "Dozens Of California Communities" Worse Than Flint, Michigan

Tyler Durden's picture

California, a state infamous for its environmental protections, including a $65 billion tunnel project being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown so as not to disrupt the habitat of a tiny, non-native fish species, may be facing a lead poisoning crisis more severe than Flint, Michigan

According to blood test data obtained by Reuters, rates of childhood lead poisoning in several California cities surpass those measured in Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher.

In fact, in Fresno’s downtown 93701 zip code, nearly 14% of children tested showed lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current threshold for an elevated reading.  As the CDC noted, no level of lead exposure is safe, but children who test that high warrant an immediate public health response.

In all, per the map below, Reuters found at least 29 California neighborhoods where children had elevated lead tests at rates at least as high as in Flint.  “It’s a widespread problem and we have to get a better idea of where the sources of exposure are,” said California Assembly member Bill Quirk, who chairs the state legislature’s Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. 



And while elevated lead levels in children was found to be a fairly widespread issue across California, the poorer regions of the Central Valley where the majority of California's crops are grown were found to be particularly at risk.

In all, Fresno County had nine zip code areas where high lead levels among children tested were at least as common as in Flint. The Reuters article in December documented nearly 3,000 locales nationwide with poisoning rates double those found in the Michigan city along the Flint River.


The city of Fresno battles high poverty rates and problems with substandard housing, both risk factors for lead exposure. Some locals are also concerned with drinking water, after unsafe levels of lead were detected in at least 120 Fresno homes last year.


Fresno County’s lead poisoning prevention program conducts outreach across the city, and a program health educator, Leticia Berber, says exposure remains too common.


Still, she expressed surprise at the area’s high rate. “We haven’t looked at it that way compared to Flint,” Berber said.

Of course, California’s Public Health Department attempted to downplay the results saying that comparisons between the state’s blood lead testing results and those from other states aren’t warranted. It said California tests children deemed most at risk for lead exposure, such as those enrolled in Medicaid or living in older housing.  “Testing of at-risk children, and not all children, skews California results to higher percentage of children tested showing lead exposure,” the state said.

But, as Reuters points out, testing that targets at-risk children is common across much of the country. 

Blood tests can’t determine the cause of a child’s exposure, but potential sources include crumbling old paint, contaminated soil, tainted drinking water or other lead hazards.



Meanwhile, elevated exposure levels were also found to be a problem in larger neighborhoods surrounding San Francisco and Los Angeles as well.

Lead exposure is common in other East Bay areas, including large parts of Oakland, and nearby Emeryville and Fremont, the new data shows.


In January, Oakland city council members introduced a resolution that would require property owners to obtain lead inspections and safety certifications before renting or selling houses and apartments built before 1978, when lead paint was banned.


Emeryville's city council this month proposed an ordinance to require proof that contractors will adhere to Environmental Protection Agency standards – including safe lead paint removal practices – before they renovate older housing.


Emeryville Vice Mayor John Bauters said paint exposure isn’t the only risk. A long history of heavy industry in the East Bay also left contaminated soil in some areas.


In the Los Angeles area, the prevalence of high blood lead tests reached 5 percent or above in at least four zip codes during 2012.


Since August, a sampling of children tested from the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westlake, Koreatown and Pico Union revealed about 5 percent with high lead results, said Jeff Sanchez, a public health specialist at Impact Assessment, which helps Los Angeles run its lead poisoning prevention program.


“The more you look,” Sanchez said, “the more you find.”

Perhaps it's time to divert some of those funds allocated to protect endangered fish and bees to actually help the taxpayers of your state, Governor Brown.

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TeamDepends's picture

Now they're going to have to build lead-free sanctuary cities.

knukles's picture

No.  Not true.  False news.
The money's already been allocated to non-native high speed ecologically correct gluten free rail. 

erkme73's picture

This goes a long way in explaining why Californians are so fucking retarded.

Manthong's picture

“non-native (…) species”, 

..that seems to be a specialty of mexifornia.


Obadiah's picture

Also Lead Paint makes viewing indoors with cameras outside very diffucult... we cant have that now can we.

Manthong's picture

Hey, look at the bright side….

Outside of the water contamination, the horrendous taxes, the unaffordable housing, the brushfires, the landslides, the earthquakes, the methane air pollution, the crime from the illegal immigration invasion and such, it is a great place to live ,

I have great weather 24/7/360 inside my house…

..and if I thought it advantageous to have more UV’s, I could do that too.


lexxus's picture
lexxus (not verified) Manthong Mar 22, 2017 8:51 PM

The American CURSE is relentless. Poisoning even the water system.


kavlar's picture
kavlar (not verified) lexxus Mar 22, 2017 8:51 PM

Time to really panic.

A Nanny Moose's picture

I'm trying to figure out the spot that sits smack in the middle of south Lake Tahoe.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So is wine from wine country contaminated with lead too??  Or is it arsenic??  Or both??  At least I will die with a buzz and a smile!!  =)

peippe's picture

WARNING: we got a thinker here abouts<

that's the question, can capillary action draw lead & who knows what all else into the grape flesh?

do believe that it can, same as good 'ole pipe tobacco could float mercury, cadmium & a host of other carcinogens into the air.

Same reason a couple of my grandparents died @ 63. Second-hand smoke death for Gma. 

Mr.BlingBling's picture

Died at 63? From smoking?

Hmmm . . . I think we may have found a way to fix Social Security.

Not Too Important's picture

Governor Brown has allowed the fracking companies to inject billions of gallons of fracking wastewater into the Central California aquifers. Lead poisoning is the least of their concerns.

The wine in California is loaded with Round-Up, even the organic wines:

'Monsanto's Glyphosate Found in California Wines, Even Wines Made With Organic Grapes'


On top of all that, add all the radiation coming in from Fukushima. There's a lot of enriched uranium and plutonium in California soil, same as the rest of the US.


Drink California wine at your own risk. Cali fruits and veggies, too.


Real quick, think about this. Every child in the US today, will spend their whole lives eating and drinking contaminants, from radiation to Round-Up to fracking waste. They will never eat or drink anything that isn't seriously contaminated with something lethal, and the percentages are going up by the hour.

Add in all the Round-Up in the dozens of vaccines they have to get:

'Glyphosate Found in Childhood Vaccines'



Humans won't last more than 4-5 generations in North America, and with the rising autism rates, soon to be 1 in 2, then 100% by 2035 or so, who's going to keep all our nuclear power plants safe?


Make peace with your Creator, and hug those you love. It is never going to get better.

GUS100CORRINA's picture


I am absolutely convinced that the DEMOCRATS are a godless group who could care less about the citizens they serve.

Let me guess, Maxine Waters nor Pelosi knew nothing about this LEAD issue. correct?

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Hey but at least we're building brand new water systems in Afghanistan:


You haters just don't comprehend the 11-dimensional genius behind the Bush/Cheney/Obama program 


Obadiah's picture

see george webb on youtube for what USAID bullshit is...

Manthong's picture


"we're building brand new water systems in Afghanistan:"

Nestle has a way more affordable solution to that problem..

.. if you do not mind the water table depletion and the plastic contamination.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Hey but at least we're building brand new water systems in Afghanistan:


You haters just don't comprehend the 11-dimensional genius behind the Bush/Cheney/Obama program 


cue in cue's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

Manthong's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time sucking Wall Street bankers off who are high on blow. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make on Wall Street, so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life, outside of the Jamie Dimon Chlamydia thing. This is what I do. www  open  gaping mouth  dot com

SofaPapa's picture

Please note:

Edit: "the Bush/Cheney/Obama[/Clinton/Trump] program"

We've seen enough of Trump to know that we're still in the same game with the usual different wrapper, as expected by many of us.  Clinton goes without saying.  This program is all the way from the top, and the names listed above are only the public (pawn, in fact) faces of it.

Manthong's picture

Waitaminute there..

I thought that percolates were a good thing…..

Oh, I think I might have misspelled something.


Winston Churchill's picture

On the bright side, at least a lot of Kaliforneans have their own lead sheilding for the Fukishima radioactive pollution,

so there is that.

Manthong's picture

..maybe we could see a resurgence of the pencil market.

Oliver Klozoff's picture


The only place worse than Flint is Swartz Creek.

Manthong's picture

Oh heck...

I have a creek that flows nearby.....

it is where ducks go to die.

JuliaS's picture

Worse than Michigan? Well, that's an easy fix! Dump more lead in Michigan!

Joe Sichs Pach's picture

http://heyjackass.com seems to indicate the native pavement apes are continually working on doing just that in their neighborhoods.

HRClinton's picture

Well, that explains things. 

koan's picture

If you drink unfiltered water from the tap, you're nuts

Frito's picture

Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?

Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?

On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.

And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.

koan's picture

Precious bodily fluids

Zarbo's picture

This explains Jerry Brown doing the Nero impresson.

ArtOfLife's picture

Hopefully they bought some merchandise from the humble waterfilter salesman from infowars.

Dr. Engali's picture

Now, what do these places have in common? They are both places ran by_____________?

knukles's picture

Commies!  The very same ones trying to mess up America since I was a toddler.  They've just changed their spots, names and memes a whole buncha times.
Red menace commie rat ass bastards.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Well, Mandrake, I first became aware of the Communist program to sap our precious bodily fluids during the physical act of love...

GhostofBastiat's picture

Hey: Isn't Burpleson AFB just outside Fresno?

cowdiddly's picture

shhhhhh. Its where the mercury buildup in the lakes is coming from too, but don't say it to loud or you will have a Kock brother's goon come kick in your door. Gotta keep blaming it on little hungry nigglets chewing the paint of the wall.

Around here our bought and paid for politicians just handle it by saying it's "probably" naturally occuring.