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Investigation: Companies Prey On Victims Of Lead Poisoning06:09

This article is more than 5 years old.

In many cities around the U.S., thousands of young adults have toxic levels of lead in their blood from growing up in rundown housing built before 1950. Lead poisoning - from eating peeling paint and breathing paint dust - can lead to learning disabilities, irreversible brain damage, and impulse problems.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are disproportionately affected, with black children nearly three times more likely than white children to have elevated blood levels.

Many families with children with lead poisoning have successfully sued negligent landlords and received settlements. But in a new investigation, Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy found that many of the children, now disabled young adults, sold those settlements, sometimes for pennies on the dollar, to companies that approached them.


This segment aired on August 27, 2015.


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