Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Lead poisoning is a national public health issue that primarily affects children of the assetless poor. In the United States, may state governments have begun to address the issue by developing lead poisoning prevention programs. These programs aim to remove lead hazards and identify lead-poisoned children in the state. Lead is a manmade disease and, in some cases, the irreversible developmental disorders that children develop from exposure can be prevented. Due to recent immigration from refugees of African nations, the state of Maine has a population that is at increased vulnerability to lead hazards. The lead prevention program in place in Maine does not adequately protect this population from the threat of lead. To demonstrate this inadequacy within the Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, the Somali Bantu refugee population in Lewiston, ME was used as a case study. The theoretical analysis of this case study is demonstrative of the larger national narrative that lead poisoning is an environmental justice issue. People are color, and in this case, refugees of color, are at increased risk for lead exposure due to barriers and interlocking oppressions they face daily.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Sonja Pieck

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.