Public Health Law Research (PHLR), a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been celebrating National Public Health Week by contributing graphics and posts on the specific role that public health law plays in improving human health. PHLR’s research agenda is to produce evidence about which public health laws work to save lives and reduce morbidity (or not), and to communicate their evidence to encourage improved law and policy making.
PHLR’s contributions this week include one environmental public health law example: lead laws.
According to PHLR:
“In 1990 approximately 20 percent of all U.S. children had elevated levels of lead in their blood. However, only a decade later that percentage was down to 1.6 percent, thanks to public health laws researched and crafted to look out for the wellbeing of children. One of the most significant pieces of legislation was The Lead Contamination Control Act of 1988, which was already on the path to improving public health in 1990.”
Now see it graphically.
This video tells the story of the Philadelphia Lead Court, which was created in 2002 as an innovative law enforcement strategy to compel property owners to comply with city health codes to remediate their properties of lead hazards. This study analyzes the effectiveness of the PLC as compared with precourt law enforcement strategies and within the context of a specialized court; its use of fines; the impact of grant funding for remediation work; and major advantages and disadvantages of the PLC, along with suggested changes to improve the court’s function.