Lead exposure changes the structure and function of children’s developing brains, causing damage that cannot be repaired. Children who are born developmentally healthy become impaired simply because they live in homes with chipping, peeling lead-based paint,
lead in the water they drink, and lead in the soil where they play. Lead exposure leads to poorer academic performance, behavioral health problems, and lifelong diminished opportunity. A 2017 study by Pew Charitable Trusts found a combined average return of
$2.77 for every dollar spent removing lead-based paint hazards and replacing lead service lines in pre-1978 housing. This return on investment is derived from both lowered education and health costs and increased tax revenue, as a result of avoiding the lifelong
adverse outcomes of lead exposure.