Approximately 3.6 million families have young children who live in homes contaminated with lead-based paint hazards. Children of low-income families living in older un-assisted housing face the greatest risk of lead poisoning. To help focus more public attention on lead poisoning prevention, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is joining other federal agencies and a cross section of public health and other advocacy organizations to promote National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
This year’s theme centers on three essential messages: Get the Facts; Get Your Home Tested; and Get Your Child Tested.
“While lead-based paint was banned for residential use nearly 40 years ago, we continue to witness young children being exposed to its toxic effects,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “As we work to end this disease once and for all, we need to continue to educate families living in homes built before 1978 to get their homes tested and protect their children from hazardous lead paint.”
This annual national public health education campaign comes after HUD recently awarded a record $319 million to state, local, and tribal communities to remove lead and other home health and safety hazards. In addition, HUD awarded $8.4 million to research organizations to study new, more cost-effective methods to address residential health hazards.
There are a variety of risks that result in lead exposure in the home: renovations of older homes that can expose children if done improperly, lead brought home from parents’ workplaces, lead in drinking water from plumbing fixtures or supply pipes and lead-contaminated soil in children’s play areas.
HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to develop the Partner Information Toolkit, which has many outreach resources, and suggestions for outreach techniques, all aimed at mobilizing community action for National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and beyond.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.