Abstract for:Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning

The USA continues to be vexed by the ancient scourge of lead poisoning.  Despite all the efforts over many decades, it remains a major problem. These efforts have aimed at keeping lead from getting into people. However, the reservoirs of lead in the environment are too vast for this too work, and the problem appears even now to be worsening. When what one is doing is not working, one must change what they are doing. This may require a change in mental models as well as in one’s type of thinking. Starting with the question, since we can’t stop the lead from being everywhere, and being ingested, can we stop it from getting into our children’s systems? Can a change from linear thinking to systems thinking lead to a solution? That it could was not appreciated until modeling showed that indeed a different approach – adding a sub-structure to the system rather than trying to remove sub-structures from it – should work, at a tiny fraction of the cost. Based on the insights gleaned from the modeling, a study is now planned.