>> Cities and towns across the United States taking action after a Reuters investigation identified thousands of communities where test showed higher rates of lead poisoning in children, than in flint Michigan. Reuters reporter Josh Schneyer says despite the nationwide lead abatement programs to reduce lead hazards, many communities have been overlooked.
>> What this data shows is that there are many areas of the country where those lead abatement efforts have fallen short, they haven't protected the children. In many cases the risks are in legacy lead, household paint, crumbling paint, tainted soil, water systems like in Flint. And so the breakthrough, if there is one, is allowing communities to see and visualize the risks at a very local level.
>> An interactive map Reuters built with previously unpublished data allows users to track local poisoning rates across much of the country for the first time. In many areas, residents and officials weren't even aware of the scope of local children's exposure.>> We went to South Bend, Indiana, and our data showed, state data that we compiled showed a census tracked there with 31.3% of kids who got tested, testing high for lead exposure.
The mayor, I don't think, was aware of that finding before our report, and so the mayor called a press conference after our report and said that the city and county could potentially reallocate funds to deal with the local poisoning issues. We have local officials now looking for EPA grants to do more environmental testing and lead abatement.
>> From California to Pennsylvania, local leaders, health officials and researchers now advancing measures to protect children from the toxic threat. They include more blood lead screening, property inspections, and community outreach programs.