Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition observes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
The Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 24-30.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a partnership between the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The aim is to encourage organized local community events and empower families and other stakeholders.
About 3.3 million US households, including 2.1 million low-income households, have children under the age of 6 who live in homes at risk of lead exposure. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure can interfere with a child’s cognitive development. Children with blood lead levels can experience stunted growth and development, brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, and a host of other health-related issues. Public health actions are necessary for these children. There is no safe blood lead in children.
Lead can be found inside and outside the house, including in the water that circulates in lead pipes or in the soil around the house. However, the most common source of exposure for children is lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Adults and children can get lead into their bodies by breathing dust. lead (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs, or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, sills window, eating paint chips, soil containing lead or other places.
Children can also be exposed to lead dust from adult work or hobbies and some toys made of metal or painted with lead-based paint. Children are not exposed to lead in the same way, nor are they affected in the same way. These disparities put undue strain on minority and low-income families and their communities.
The problem is largely preventable with an increase in testing, education and a focus on prevention. For more information on National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2021, visit www.chccme.org/lead
The Maine Centers for Disease Control offers free lead test kits for parents at www.maine.gov.
If you are a Biddeford homeowner and would like financial assistance to have lead paint removed from your apartment complex, visit: https://www.biddefordmaine.org/2952/Lead-Based-Paint-Hazard- Reduction-Progra
Stakeholders can use the Digital Partner Information Kit at: http://hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/nlppw, to help with awareness raising and implementation at the local level. One of the most valuable resources to help residents and housing professionals nationwide is the National Lead Information Center, 1-800-424-LEAD (5323.)