Why cleaning up lead contamination is so important to all of us - it can improve health and reduce crime.
It is very important that we include testing of children, as Dougald Lamont discussed in his press conference yesterday. For children who have high levels of lead, studies have shown that interventions including lead remediation, nutritional assessment, medical evaluation, developmental surveillance and public assistance referrals can reverse the negative outcomes. A major research study showed that these interventions can affect long-term educational and behavioural outcomes. Indeed, based on this research, the authors provide evidence that the interventions can have "far-reaching decreases in anti-social behavioiur (school suspensions, school crimes, unexcused absences and criminal activity) and to a lesser extent increases in educational performance." (Billings and Schnepel 2018).
Manitoba Liberals are the only party to date who have announced that they will act quickly to address high lead levels found in Winnipeg and in our children. It is important to children and adults exposed to lead and to their families. It is important to all of us. We care about other Manitobans. We also want a decrease in property crime and violent crime in Winnipeg.
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Wright JP et al: Association of Prenatal and Childhood Blood Lead Concentrations with Criminal Arrests in Early Adulthood. PLOS Medicine (5(5):e101 https”doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050101.
Beller T: Wearing the Lead Glasses: Lead Contamination in New Orleans and Beyond. Places Journal May 2019. https://placesjournal.org/article/wearing-the-lead-glasses/?cn-reloaded=1