The Cost of Childhood Lead Poisoning


Our case is interesting, in that after our children’s exposure, we spared no expense in making our home lead-safe so that we would be able to return and live in the home. We borrowed money from our credit cards, and then family and friends in order to be able to do this.

This was a terrible strategy, for in the end, it forced us to sell the home we had planned on spending the next 30 years in, has nearly bankrupted us, and left us battling foreclosure on our replacement home. We ultimately spent more than $200,000 to clean up the mess created by our painter -- with three years of interest we are about $260,000 in debt because of his mistakes.

In contrast, it would not have cost our contractor any more than he spent (or us any more as consumers) had he used lead-safe work practices (as he told us he would) and spared us the poisoning of our children and the horrendous consequent costs.  

I am sharing our costs here with you (below) to compare/contrast the cost of post-contamination clean-up vs. the cost of education & primary prevention--doing things right in the first place!

I am working on this list and will make a note when the posted figures are complete - figures posted below total $199,500

Initial bid for our paint job: $18,000    Cost overruns: $7,000

Remediation costs once our children were poisoned:

Crisis management-level testing of soil and property / re-testing / clearance testing: $10,000

Dwelling clean up and abatement work (many operations; it took 18 months in all!): $20,000

Soil removal and replacement: $20,000

Emergency temporary housing (hotel): $2,500

Disposal of upholstered furniture and replacement of furniture: $5,000

Cleaning of all fabric items and toys: $2,000

Temporary alternate lead-safe housing for one year: $22,000

Legal fees for recovery effort (legal action against the contractor): $28,000

Natural herbal remedy (non-toxic chelation) NDF by Bio-Ray: $4,000

Additional emergency off-site childcare: $1,000

Interest on loans to pay for the above: $60,000

    (10% a year for 3 years on $200,000)

What We LostWhat_we_lost.html
What We Don’t HaveWhat_we_dont_have.html
What We LearnedWhat_we_Learned.html
Compare this to what we spent to make our new home lead-safe...CostforSE15th.html

© 2009. Tamara Rubin,  All Rights Reserved