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A documentary feature about America's hidden childhood lead poisoning epidemic which impacts 22,000,000 children in our country today.
A documentary feature about America's hidden childhood lead poisoning epidemic which impacts 22,000,000 children in our country today.
246 backers pledged $10,071 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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More than 22,000,000 American children have unsafe levels of lead in their blood, but the CDC public statement says that only 250,000 children are affected.

Even low-level lead poisoning causes permanent brain damage leading to learning disabilities and lifelong health challenges.

Lead paint was banned for residential use in 1978, however childhood lead poisoning still - today - costs the United States a minimum of $50.9 Billion annually in increased health care costs and lost earning potential of the children impacted.  This does not include the costs of the impact on our criminal justice system, the burden on the special education system or the direct costs to families whose children have been poisoned.

Childhood lead poisoning is well documented as the most expensive environmental illness today - it is also the most preventable.

Why in 2011 are so many children still being poisoned?  Why do so few parents understand this issue when more than 80,000,000 American homes were built (and painted) before the 1978 ban?

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America's Secret Epidemic is feature-length documentary for theatrical release, directed by Daniel Marracino - world renown cinematographer whose credits include many of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock's recent films ("Sicko", "Capitalism, A Love Story" and "Pom Wonderful presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold") and Joe Cross' critically acclaimed film "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead."

America's Secret Epidemic explores the hidden epidemic of childhood lead poisoning in America today. The film will expose the history of lead in our culture and the prevalence of lead hazards in our current environment—including our homes & schools. The "plot" will unfold as the audience follows the stories of several families who call in to intrepid “Mom-On-A-Mission” activist Tamara Rubin at the Lead Safe America Foundation for help.

Interwoven with the personal stories will be informative and entertaining (and some highly provocative!) interviews with experts in the industry—lead poisoning prevention advocates, research scientists, policy makers, construction industry representatives and contractors, and insiders within EPA, OSHA, HUD and other governing agencies.

Integrated into the film will be the creation of a national campaign for lead poisoning awareness and prevention—using social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more). We intend to produce an entire generation of informed parents, armed with the knowledge necessary to actually protect America's children from the life-long effects of avoidable exposure to potent environmental hazards with lead topping the list.

Core themes will be the curiously low (by orders of magnitude) historically published "official estimates" of the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning in this country; that the American people have been kept in the dark about the true scope of the problem and mislead about demographics of children impacted; and how to implement effective solutions to protect children from this invisible neurotoxin that costs the United States more than $50.9 billion annually in increased health care costs and lost earning potential of the children impacted.

We will also show lead-safe work practices in home and building renovations as the front-line of primary prevention for childhood lead poisoning, and examine new developments in detection, containment & remediation technologies, as well as intervention/treatment approaches.

This Kickstarter project has been designed to cover the costs of our third month of filming. Anything we raise above the $10,000 goal will cover additional months of filming and expenses to make the film even better- so it has an even bigger impact. The more we raise now - the more quickly and professionally we can complete this film! (We're shooting for an Oscar here!) Ideally, we'd like to have shooting wrapped in 6 to 8 months.  

While we have a dream budget of as much as $1.5 million - we could complete this entire film for less than $100,000 - and include lots of bells and whistles with as little as $400,000. ["bells and whistles" might include - professional dedicated sound person, original music, professional dedicated editor, funds available to pay for usage fees for news footage and footage from other films, a legal team to handle all the important paperwork, up-to-date computers and other equipment to process the film, hard drives to store the raw footage - and more.]  We have already finished the first two months of filming—including great footage of 6 families as well as 12 amazing expert interviews in NY, New Jersey, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, [on a shoestring budget without any backers!]  You can see some of this footage here in our Kickstarter video and on our YouTube Channel—which got over 2,100 views in its first week! http://www.youtube.com/user/LeadSafeAmerica/videos

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Our undying thanks! We'd love to raise this round of financing with 10,000 $1 pledges--that would really powerfully demonstrate support for sharing the film's message! Pledge $1 and ask 5 friends to join you! (As America's Secret Epidemic is a project of the Lead Safe America Foundation which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, your backer pledge is tax-deductible!)

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our undying thanks, an America's Secret Epidemic bumper sticker, thanks on our twitter ( @leadsafeamerica ) & facebook pages and a tax-deduction!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Our undying thanks and an America's Secret Epidemic bumper sticker, a commemorative pin, thanks on our twitter ( @leadsafeamerica ) & facebook pages and a tax-deduction!!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Our undying thanks, an America's Secret Epidemic bumper sticker, a commemorative button and a signed copy of the DVD of the film! Plus thanks on our twitter ( @leadsafeamerica ) & facebook pages and a tax-deduction!!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Our undying thanks, an America's Secret Epidemic bumper sticker, a commemorative button, a signed copy of the DVD of the film and a signed limited edition poster of the film! Plus thanks on our twitter ( @leadsafeamerica ) & facebook pages and a tax-deduction!!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An invitation for two to the film's premier! Plus you will also get all of the benefits of the $100 sponsorship level!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    An invitation for two to the film's premier and star-studded "after-party!" Plus you will also get... our undying thanks, an America's Secret Epidemic bumper sticker, a commemorative button, a signed copy of the DVD of the film and a signed limited edition poster of the film! Plus thanks on our twitter ( @leadsafeamerica ) & facebook pages and a tax-deduction!!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    This reward level includes transportation and lodging and an invitation for two to the film's premier and star-studded "after-party!" Plus you will also get all of the benefits of the $100 sponsorship level!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Tamara Rubin will come to you and (working with local experts) do a one-day informal hazard inspection (up to 8 hours, using visual inspection methods and XRF testing) of your home or community building (church, school, community center) - testing structural components and items like toys and household goods for lead and other hazards. [For smaller buildings a fairly complete hazard assessment might be done in 8 hours, for larger buildings an 8-hour inspection might be partial or preliminary and indicate that additional follow up testing is necessary.) Plus you will also get all of the benefits of the $500 backer level. (Visit can be done as soon as February 2012 !) Depending on the timing your visit may also be filmed for the documentary! (Out of country backers need to cover transportation & lodging costs in addition to their pledge.)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the benefits of the $3,500 reward - but Tamara and members of the Lead Safe America Foundation will spend a second day holding a free public community toy-testing event in your community at the venue of your choice (using the latest technology from Niton to test for lead and other hazards in toys.) Depending on the timing of this event - it may also be filmed for the documentary!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Acclaimed documentary filmmaker and celebrated cinematographer Daniel Marracino - the film's director - will film a one-day [up to 8 hours] personal event of your choice. You will own and receive a hard drive with the original footage from your event! Plus you will also get all of the benefits of the $1,000 backer level! [Outside of the NYC metropolitan area, transportation and lodging for the film crew (3 persons) must be provided by the backer of this reward in addition to the reward amount.]

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Funding period

- (42 days)