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EPA Region 7 Urges Parents, Teachers and Press to Spread Message of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 25-31

10/23/2015
Contact Information: 
Chris Whitley (whitley.christopher@epa.gov)
913-551-7394

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 23, 2015) - United behind a theme of "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," EPA Region 7 is urging parents, teachers and news media representatives to join federal, state and local health and environmental agencies in spreading the message of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 25-31.

While lead poisoning is a health issue that can affect persons of any age, young children are most at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 4 million households in the U.S. have children living in them at risk of exposure to toxic lead. More than half a million U.S. children ages 5 and younger have blood lead levels above five micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.

Next week, EPA Region 7 will participate in several outreach events designed to spread messages about lead detection, rule compliance, and poisoning prevention:

  • On October 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, in coordination with the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department, EPA representatives will provide Spanish-language educational brochures and answer questions about lead poisoning during a free blood lead screening event at the Mexican Consulate at 1617 Baltimore Ave., in Kansas City, Mo.
  • On October 27, at 11:30 a.m., EPA Region 7 will deliver a presentation to the Cape Girardeau, Mo., County Board of Realtors about the Lead-Based Paint Section 1018 Disclosure Rule, and the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The presentation will be held at Ray's Plaza Banquet Center, 3257 William Street, in Cape Girardeau.
  • On October 28, at 2 p.m., EPA will participate with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control in a Twitter Townhall to chat about issues related to lead poisoning prevention. Join the conversation @EPALive, @CDCEnvironment, @HUDLeadHealthy #LeadChat2015
The most common way that children become exposed to lead is by breathing or swallowing dust or chips of lead-based paint, which is often found in and around housing or child-care facilities built prior to 1978, when lead-based residential paints were banned in the U.S. In the four states of EPA Region 7 - Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska - young children, depending on the communities where they live, also may be exposed to soils contaminated by lead from the area's mining and processing industries.

Lead poisoning can adversely affect nearly every system of the body, but particularly the central nervous system, especially for unborn and young children whose bodies are just beginning to develop and grow. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. However, lead poisoning is easily diagnosed with simple testing, and in most cases, it can be treated.

Throughout National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 25-31 - part of EPA's annual observance of Children's Health Month - the Agency is working to raise awareness of toxic lead hazards and spread information about ways to minimize or prevent exposures to lead. EPA has a range of free information, outreach materials and other resources available online.

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