October 28, 2010

Statement on National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2010

(Baltimore, MD, October 28, 2010)—About a decade ago, national leaders and federal agencies set out a goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning as a major public health hazard by 2010. This Year's National Lead Poisoning Prevention Awareness Week reminds us that while we have made enormous progress toward this goal - the job is far from done. So, together, we must redouble our efforts to deliver on the promise we have made to America's children.

We cannot simply be satisfied with progress to date. Civic and community leaders need to press for continued action to rid our housing stock of the tragic and costly effects of lead hazards by:

  • Assuring that state and local laws require that all housing meet an enforceable lead safe standard—including the requirement for periodic lead dust clearance testing.
  • That state and local health, housing and environment departments provide local enforcement of the recent EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.
  • Working together to make the case for Medicaid reimbursement for lead hazard control and other proven healthy home interventions.
  • Actively integrate lead poisoning and lead hazard control programs with broader Green and Healthy Home interventions (for example: weatherization, home repair, roofing, asthma control, fire safety, trip and fall prevention programs).
  • Support National efforts to establish a uniform health-based housing standard for all federal housing intervention dollars.

Clearly, much work lies ahead to assure we sustain efforts to end lead poisoning and grow the movement toward Green and Healthy Homes. But the payoff for future generations compels us to stay focused and finish the job.

Take the time this week to talk to an elected official, a Civic Leader, a local Foundation or even your neighbor about the need to enhance the national support for lead poisoning prevention. Make sure your local health and housing agencies have a well articulated and aggressive plan for eradicating lead in your community. Here are some things they may find interesting:

  • For every dollar we spend on removing lead hazards in a home, we return $14 back to the community.
  • Children poisoned by lead are 7 times more likely to drop out of school—costing communities not only health dollars but generations of lost productivity and opportunity.
  • Lead poisoning has been linked to violent behavior, hypertension and even early mortality.
  • Refer families for Lead Hazard Control or General Healthy Home Services to info@leadsafe.org or 410-534-6447.
  • Join the Coalition’s Monthly Partnership meeting – The third Wednesday of every month from noon to 1:30 PM to hear speakers, learnbest practices, network with service providers or learn of new grant opportunities. You may also join online via GoToMeeting or by videoconferencing (effective January 1, 2011). For more information – contact Marché Taylor at mtaylor@leadsafe.org.

Yet, it’s entirely preventable.

Take action today.

Also, we want to take a moment to thank the many people that have dedicated their lives to this effort - case managers, housing inspectors, remediation contractors, public health nurses, elected officials, Foundation leaders and community advocates.

Together we will end lead poisoning and create Green and Healthy Homes.

To support efforts by the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning go http://www.leadsafe.org/content/get_involved/.

Thank you.

Ruth Ann Norton, Executive Director

The Coalition (www.leadsafe.org) is a private, non-profit organization that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and further healthy homes.

media inquiries

For more information about the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative or to arrange an interview with our President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton, members of the media should contact:

ghhi@berlinrosen.com