Bangor Couple Searching for Options for their Two-Year-Old with Lead Poisoning
Even in 2012, lead paint is still a problem for families in older homes. A Bangor couple found that out the hard way. Their son Noah Chapman just turned two years old and was born perfectly healthy.But when he went in for his most recent check up in early August, his doctor found some scary test results. Noah has lead poisoning.”[His levels] were at 17% at the time and she wanted him to come back and have it taken directly from the vein, I took him back on the 9th and it had rose to 33%,” said Noah’s mother Heather Chapman.Heather and her husband Skyler immediately began making phone calls and doing research. A state inspector came to their home and found lead in paint on the outside of the building and inside on windowsills and stairs.Noah had somehow ingested enough lead dust to put him at a dangerous level. “It can cause permanent brain damage, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, social difficulties and it’s a permanent thing. There’s no cure,” said David Orcutt, Project Manager for Lead Hazards at Penquis CAP.Orcutt said if a child is poisoned, the best thing to do is remove him or her from the environment as soon as possible. That’s what the Chapmans have been trying to do, but they’re running into a lot of dead ends. Many of the homes they’re looking at also have lead issues or are out of their price range.”Every day we feel guilty because that’s one more day he’s exposed and we’re letting it happen. We’re trying everything,” said Chapman.While they’re constantly looking for a new home or assistance to help pay for somewhere else to live, they’re also looking into doctors and specialists who may be able to help their son.Chapman said, “These kids come in and are born into the world perfectly healthy with potential, you know to go as far as they can, and then because of paint or lead dust from the paint, it can be stolen right away from them. And we really won’t know right now, we’ll have to wait until he starts to go to school and he starts to develop more and then we’ll see what kind of permanent damage that did for him.”The Chapmans say something has to be changed about the policies surrounding lead paint for little Noah’s sake and for many more children in Maine who may be facing the same danger in their own homes.