"The city of St. Louis has been working to reduce lead poisoning since the health department introduced a lead program in the 1940s. Since that time great strides have been made. But the danger of exposure to lead still exists in the city, and screenings reveal more than a thousand cases of elevated blood lead levels each year.
'We’ve been on a long battle,' Health Services Manager Jeanine Arrighi of the City of St. Louis Department of Health said. According to Arrighi, the city has covered a lot of ground in the last decade, reducing lead poisoning by 80 percent.
Depending on the level of exposure, the consequences of lead poisoning can range from death to mental retardation to learning disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even low levels of exposure affect a child’s IQ, and once exposed the damage cannot be reversed."