Cost of Being Poor: Poverty, Lead Poisoning, and Policy Implementation

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Social problems, such as childhood lead poisoning, do not occur in a vacuum. As such, the definition of the problem requires a holistic examination of the broad social, political, and economic influences that create and perpetuate the issue of concern. Richardson does this with eloquence and heart. She also investigates the attitudes various groups have held toward the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (Title X). In doing so, she reveals much about the attitudes officials hold in general toward problems affecting poor communities and demonstrates how these attitudes directly affect policymaking and policy enforcement.

The social consequences of lead poisoning analyzed in this volume fall into the following categories:

• Housing

• Health

• Education

• Policy-making

• Legal Challenges

The Cost of Being Poor would be useful to individuals in the fields of public health, policy, education, and law. Furthermore, this work would be of special use to educators, who would benefit from familiarity with lead poisoning as a factor in their students' lives and from becoming aware that there are options that poisoned children have to improve their situation. The first step necessary in eliminating social problems is to understand the nature of the problem. This study is a step in that direction.

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What People Are Saying

Michael G. Phelan
"Dr. Richardson correctly observes that poor children in particular are utterly subject to policy and politics. [She] is an important voice for a segment of our society who, unfortunately, has no lobby at our General Assembly or Congress. The sad truth exposed by Dr. Richardson is that poor families are helpless….Government action is not triggered until a child tests positive for lead poisoning, by which time the child has been permanently damaged. The goal must be prevention, not after-the-fact treatment….Kudos to Dr. Richardson for addressing this important issue."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969127
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

JEANITA W. RICHARDSON is Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Virginia State University.

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Table of Contents


Policy, Poverty and Poisoning: What can we learn from implementation studies?

A Look Back at Lead

Title X Implementation in Richmond, VA

Lead in the Family

On Behalf of the Poor: A Study of Title X Implementation

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014


    Too costly

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