About this project
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?
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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