I’ve posted a good amount of articles on how lead paint affects children’s IQ and future well-being. A local web article recently published on CapeNews.net spoke about how there was progress being made on the feasibility of renovating an old school building, the James F. Peebles Elementary School, in Bourne, MA that was built in 1953. The school district that governs the school was recently reprimanded in 2012 for asbestos violations. To the districts credit, they have since implemented cleanup efforts to ensure that the children in the school are not inhaling any of this.

But what about lead paint?

Now, I do not know whether Peebles contains any lead paint, and the school might have undergone remediation of their walls and classrooms. What I do know is that there exists a bigger problem. How many elementary school classrooms across Massachusetts – no, the U.S. were built prior to 1978? Sure, some schools were probably treated during renovations and the lead removal process was done correctly. But think about how many school districts have been facing budget cuts for teachers salaries and lunch programs. I highly doubt lead paint removal from our children’s classrooms was put as a high priority. It is simply something that we do not see a quantifiable effect on until much later in life, so many are hesitant to allocate the resources in to rectify the problem. By that time, it is already too late.

Lead paint removal in our children’s schools should be a high priority.

I remember when I was in elementary school. It was in the ’90s (readers – I’m young!). I used to sit in the last row of the class and luckily I sat right next to the radiator – perfect for when it was cold. It was an old radiator, probably from the 1950s or 1960s, or older. The paint was peeling off from the heat. And each day when I got bored in class, my 8 year old self would flick the paint off. And the next day, more paint would be peeling off and I would do the same thing.

Elementary school children spend anywhere from 5-7 hours in school, almost equal to the amount of time they are awake at home. Why should they be in environments that are dangerous to their health and long-term well being? Start now and be proactive in getting rid of lead paint from old school buildings and your home today.