More accountable for lead exposure may raise rents, but impact on families is profound
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A routine blood test last fall was the first hint of the ordeal to come.
Gina George’s 2-year-old daughter, Maria, had elevated lead levels, her pediatrician told her — below the level of 7.5 micrograms per deciliter that triggers an inspection and case management by the state Department of Health and Human Services, but high enough to bear watching.
Then George took her older child, 3-year-old Matthew, to have his blood checked. His blood lead level was 65 micrograms per deciliter.
Matthew’s parents rushed him to Boston Children’s Hospital, where the little boy was hospitalized for a week for a blood treatment known as chelation. His blood still has dangerously high levels of lead, and he’ll have to return to Boston every month for the foreseeable future for ongoing treatment, his mom said.