GHHI President and CEO Ruth Ann Norton Named to EPA Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee
BALTIMORE, Md. The Board of Directors of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative is pleased to announce that Ruth Ann Norton, our President and CEO, has been named to the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC). Established by charter in 1997, CHPAC draws upon independent and non-political expertise from a vast array of disciplines to advise the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on wide ranging environmental issues that affect the health of America’s children.
“The Board is delighted that Ruth Ann is being recognized for her unparalleled expertise in breaking the link between lead poisoning and unhealthy housing by fighting for safe and energy efficient homes,” said Board Chair Joy Thomas Moore. “For the past 27 years, Ruth Ann has worked tirelessly to end the toxic legacy of lead poisoning. The debilitating effects of elevated blood lead levels impact the physical and cognitive development of children, particularly in low-income communities peppered with aging housing stock. Her presence on this committee will ensure that this entirely preventable disease will receive the attention it deserves.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a half million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels. Children poisoned by lead enter school with diminished reading and learning abilities and drop out of school at a rate seven times greater than their peers. Additional effects include hearing loss, speech delays, aggressive violent behavior and long-term health impacts that cost the United States more than $50.9 billion in medical, special education, lost earnings, and criminal justice costs.
One of the nation’s leading experts on healthy housing, Ruth Ann led efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning by over 98% in the state of Maryland. She also developed and implemented one of the nation’s first healthy homes programs to address the multiple environmental health and safety hazards in low and very low-income housing for pregnant women. Over the past several decades, programs designed and led by Ruth Ann have received national recognition by EPA, HUD and the Department of Energy. She has led GHHI’s establishment of its national technical assistance programs and provides critical leadership and expertise on how to increase health care investments in housing and environmental health. In addition, she has served as manager, senior advisor or as the principal or co-principal for numerous federally funded grant programs to combat unhealthy housing. Ruth Ann has served as a federally appointed liaison to the CDC’s former Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, as a member of the Maryland Medicaid Commission, the State’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission and the Maryland State Asthma Council. She has also been named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader and Weinberg Foundation Fellow.
For more information about CHPAC, read the full press release from the EPA here.
About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
Founded in 1986 as Parents Against Lead, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative is one of the nation’s most influential leaders in advancing policies, practices and programs to create healthy, safe and energy efficient homes in America’s lowest income communities. Through its work to create healthier housing, GHHI focuses on addressing the social determinants of health and racial and health equity to give every child and family the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Per Executive Order 13045 of April21, 1997, CHPAC provides advice on topics such as air and water pollution regulations, chemical safety programs, risk assessment policies and research which reflect the wide-ranging environmental issues which affect the health of children.