Ticiea Fletcher, and her son Dustin Shields, have lived the nightmare of lead poisoning.
“I noticed something around the 11th month,” Fletcher says. “He wasn’t developing like he should have at the time.”
Fletcher says a routine test for lead showed Dustin had severely elevated levels of lead in his blood. A follow-up inspection of the Minneapolis apartment she was renting at the time revealed chipping lead paint on windows and the porch.
The landlord fixed the problem and Fletcher moved her family, but the damage was done. Dustin wouldn’t speak until he was nearly 7 years old.
Today, the 9-year-old boy with a bright smile and a love of music is home schooled and still struggles with learning disabilities.
“My son has severe damages done to his life,” Fletcher says. “It’s heartbreaking.”