Imagine being told that you don’t have to worry about your children being poisoned by lead because you don’t fit the demographic. That’s what Tamara Rubin heard from medical professionals after her children were poisoned during the rehab of their family home.

After she moved her family out of the house, Rubin, who had a background in film production and performing arts began investigating the toxicity of lead paint and laws to protect families. She decided that she needed to produce a film for families from all walks of life who may not realize that their children’s behavioral problems could be caused by lead in paint that is not adequately regulated.

As it turns out, even though lead paint is “outlawed” in the U.S., lead paint is still used in imported household products and toys, and lead is still used in industrial paints for marine and transportation infrastructure.

While new household paint is “lead free,” meaning it contains fewer than 90 parts per million lead, the level that is toxic for children, lead paint on existing homes is not “illegal” in the U.S. if the paint contains fewer than 600 parts per million. In th U.K., the limit is 20,000 parts per million.

But in order to get federal funding for remediation of your home, a property must test positive for one milligram of lead per centimeter squared, which is roughly equivalent to 5,000 parts per million lead. If your house tests positive for 0.9 milligrams per centimeter squared, or roughly the equivalent of 4,500 parts per million lead, — which is a lot more than 90 parts per million lead — then the home is not eligible for federal funding and intervention.

With the laws as incomplete as they are, Rubin, who runs the Lead Safe Mama blog (, urges families to get educated so they can create a groundswell to petition government agencies to combat lead in household products and remediate older properties.

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