Today kicks off National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week – a week focused on raising awareness about and bringing an end to lead poisoning. As many of us live in apartments and houses that were built during an era when lead paint was a commonly used material, here are some important reminders about how we can limit exposure:
- Repair chipping and peeling paint using lead-safe work practices and certified workers;
- Use proper containment;
- Work wet to control lead dust and paint chips during removal;
- Keep occupants out of the work area; and
- Clean up properly
For those interested in more information on this important topic, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) notes, "More than 500,000 children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Impacted children enter school with diminished reading and learning abilities and drop out of school at a rate 7 times greater than their peers. Additional effects include hearing loss, speech delays, aggressive even violent behavior and long-term health impacts on the kidneys, heart, and brain costing the U.S. over $50 billion a year in medical, special education, lost earnings, and criminal justice costs."
GHHI, in partnership with other entities across the country, has developed a five-year strategic plan to end childhood lead poisoning and will present this plan in a national webinar to policy makers, stakeholders, and the public on October 27th. GHHI and partners will also host a National Lead Summit in Washington D.C. on December 5th to convene national policy leaders and inform the incoming administration. Please visit www.GHHI.org for more information.