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Lead Paint Policy: Regulation and Funding Essay

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Updated: Jun 13th, 2020

Introduction

The issue regarding the impact of the lead paint has already become one of the most discussed. A number of people in Maryland face the problem of poisoning that damages the brain and leads to severe consequences. The case with Freddy Gray and William Porter proves that the hazardous material can change people’s life and have a significant impact on the development of the nervous system. The major purpose of the paper is to provide the detailed policy analysis of the lead control policies that were passed in Maryland.

The problem of the lead paint poisoning is not new, although, the government took actions to solve it, it should be highlighted that the issue is urgent as the poisoning still affects children and adults living in the Maryland. First and foremost, it should be stated that the federal laws were created to protect people from the lead paint poisoning. Baltimore forbid the usage of the perilous material in 1950 (Wheeler & Broadwater, 2015b).

Nevertheless, the problem remained as the paint on old houses poisoned people who lived in half-destroyed houses. The key issue is that the lead poisoning impacts mostly poor blacks, who cannot afford to live in better conditions. The case with Gray and his sister proves that the dangerous level of the lead in blood plays a significant role not only in medical problems but also affects the reduction of school activity, aggressiveness, and behavioral disorders (Fletcher, 2013).

Despite the policies that aim to control the negative impact of the hazardous paint, some companies make money on people who suffer from this problem. Access Funding makes a profit from the grief of poor families living in terrible conditions with the perilous paint. However, it should be stressed that this company is not the single example of how companies make millions of dollars on the issue (McCoy, 2015). Access Funding buys future payments of poisoned people for the lower price, leaving people with no chance to go through the expansive checks of the level of the lead paint poisoning every month. Some of the victims become homeless or even die.

Legislative regulation

The Lead Paint Program, the Structured Settlement Protection Act, and Reduction of Lead Risk Housing Act were originally designed to solve the problem and reduce the negative impact of the lead paint on the health (McCoy, 2015). However, the law is not followed strictly. According to Brian Brown, the lawyer, the pivotal issue is that most of the victims are blacks and “if rich white kids were getting poisoned, there would be a law on the books that says ‘No lead in houses” (Wheeler & Broadwater, 2015b). According to the Lead Paint Law, the properties that are used for rent should be checked every year. Despite this fact, the owners do not pay attention to registration. MDE officials claim that the lack of the employees is a fundamental factor that makes the checking system to be impossible.

Less than ten workers should register more than 400,000 of the houses and apartments for rent, this seems to be impossible. The other side of the problem is that a number of rental units are not on the list for registration. This creates the prolific environment for the owners to make money acting against the law. According to the law, the owner of the rental unit is supposed to get rid of the perilous materials before the tenant starts to live in the house. Landlords should provide the tenant with the certificate that the rental unit does not have any lead danger. In addition, the owner of the property is supposed to provide the tenant with the detailed information on how to protect children in case of any danger. The small amount of the lead paint is enough for the child to receive the high level of poisoning.

Government funding

Understanding the significance of the problem, the government stresses that the issue received the priority. The impressive sum of money from the federal and state budget will help to repair more than 200 houses and eliminate the lead paint danger. Almost 40,000 children were affected by the lead paint poison for the last ten years (Wheeler & Broadwater, 2015a). The impact of the hazardous material has a dramatic effect on the future life and development of the child, Ruth Ann Norton states:

I don’t know what Freddie Gray did between the ages of 3 and 25, but if he had been able to read well, had gone to school, if his family was not just fleeing from one house to another, the likelihood of him not being on that corner would have been a whole lot better. There is a bill to pay because we neglect (Wheeler & Broadwater, 2015a).

The general assembly aims to make paint manufacturers responsible for the lead poisoning of children. However, it should be stressed that the implementation of this statement meets certain obstacles. First of all, it is almost impossible to distinguish what type of paint of what manufacturer was used to damage the human’s health. In case it is possible to determine the manufacturer, the family can sue and receive the compensation for the harm.

One of the ways out of the problem, according to the experts, is the increasing of the financing of the property owners who cannot deal with the problem alone and creating new workplaces for the inspectors to register the rental units and check the houses on the presence of the hazardous lead paint. Ruth Ann Norton states that the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the United States developed the policy that aims to hire people to make checks every year and help landlords to protect their property from the influence of the lead paint poisoning. However, the increasing of the financing will not eliminate the problem, as the solution demands the increasing of the number of the inspectors as well and contribution to understanding that lead paint is a significant issue that impacts the life in an adverse way.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the issue regarding the lead paint poisoning is urgent and needs to be solved as soon as possible. Living in a house with the hazardous material can destroy the life. Aggressive and abusive behavior, poor academic success, and medical problems are the key factors that show the negative impact of the lead paint on children. The high index of criminal activity can be explained by the usage of the hazardous material. The lead paint damages the brain and transforms the person. The problem demands the solution as children should not suffer because of the financial difficulties, Gary and other poisoned children could have better and different life. One should not forget the dramatic consequences of the lead paint usage, and that is, several political decisions should be made to eliminate the problem.

References

Fletcher, M. (2015). Freddie Gray and William Porter: Two Sons of Baltimore Whose Lives Collided. The Washington Post. Web.

McCoy, T. (2015). How Companies Make Millions off Lead-Poisoned, Poor Blacks. The Washington Post. Web.

Wheeler, T., & Broadwater, L. (2015a). Lead paint: Despite progress, hundreds of Maryland children still poisoned. The Baltimore Sun. Web.

Wheeler, T., & Broadwater, L. (2015b). Lawmakers, activists call for better enforcement of Md. lead-paint laws. The Baltimore Sun. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Lead Paint Policy: Regulation and Funding." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lead-paint-policy-regulation-and-funding/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Lead Paint Policy: Regulation and Funding." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lead-paint-policy-regulation-and-funding/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Lead Paint Policy: Regulation and Funding'. 13 June.

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