POY 3rd place - 2001
Mia Song/Star-Ledger
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The presence of lead can have devastating effects on the young, in particular causing learning disabilities, and in extreme cases severe retardation. The major cause is leaded paint, outlawed in the 70s, but silently continuing to harm children in poorly maintained homes,particularly in the inner cities, where money is short, education poor and tainted paint chips found in abundance, both inside and outside the home. In the state of New Jersey alone, an estimated 30,000 children are poisoned every year. Few are diagnosed, and those that are face long hospital stays and painful treatments.

Robert Green,5, hangs on the entry way of his apartment building while he coughs. Robert and his brother both are lead poisoned from living at this house. The building is a serial lead poisoner for the last 30 years, it's landlord has repeatedly failed to make repairs under court order.

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