Media Contact: Christopher Bloom, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBIA, MD (October 1, 2021) — The National Center for Healthy Housing is pleased to support National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 24-30, 2021. NCHH will host and participate in outreach and educational activities designed to raise local awareness about the danger of lead exposure and poisoning and educate parents on how to reduce exposure to lead in their environment, prevent its serious health effects, and the importance of testing children for lead.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal is to encourage organized, local community events, and to empower families and other stakeholders to take action.
“While lead poisoning prevention is important every day, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week provides an opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do, to highlight the work of our partners across the country, and to get others excited about joining the fight to end childhood lead exposure,” said Amanda Reddy, NCHH Executive Director.
Among the outreach activities and events planned for the week-long observance include NCHH’s fifth annual #NLPPWchat on Twitter, scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, from 3-4 p.m. ET. The #NLPPWchat has grown in popularity and reach each year since its debut in 2017; the NCHH communications team is hoping for continued growth in 2021. (Register for the 2021 #NLPPWchat here.)
About 3.3 million American households, including approximately 2.1 million households in lower-income communities, have children under six years of age who live in homes with lead exposure hazards. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure can impair a child’s cognitive development. Children with blood lead levels can experience delayed growth and development, permanent damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, and a host of other health-related problems. Public health actions are needed for these children. There is no safe blood lead level in children.
Lead can be found inside and outside the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around the house; however, the most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Adults and children can absorb toxic lead into their bodies by breathing in the lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs, or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that has settled on food or food preparation surfaces, floors, windowsills, and other places, or by ingesting paint chips or soil that contains lead.
Children can also become exposed to lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies, and from some metal toys or toys painted with lead-based paint. Children are not exposed equally to lead, nor do they suffer its consequences in the same way. These disparities unduly burden minority families,families residing in lower-income communities, and the communities themselves..
Lead exposure is largely preventable with increased testing, education, and a focus on prevention. Stakeholders can use HUD’s digital toolkit to assist with building awareness 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 at 1-800-424-LEAD.
“Lead poisoning is a problem we can solve,” stresses Ms. Reddy. “We can eliminate unnecessary lead exposures, but only if we commit to looking at lead exposure holistically and to implementing comprehensive solutions that address the entire range of exposures within a given community.”
For more information on National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2021, including quick links to official agency resources, registration for the 2021 #NLPPWchat, additional NCHH and partner materials, and upcoming related events, please visit NCHH’s dedicated National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week resource page.
About the National Center for Healthy Housing The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is the preeminent national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by transforming housing. Since 1992, NCHH has served as a highly regarded and credible change agent, successfully integrating healthy housing advocacy, research, and capacity building under one roof to reduce health disparities nationwide. Follow NCHH on Twitter (@NCHH), Instagram (@nchhorg), or LinkedIn, become a fan on Facebook, or subscribe to NCHH’s YouTube channel.