May 15th, 2023

ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff Joins Health and Safety Leaders to Discuss Future of Lead Poisoning Prevention at Ohio Healthy Homes Network Spring Conference

Additional keynote remarks by Chief Scientist David Jacobs, Ph.D., of the National Center for Healthy Housing

Media Contact: Mandy Minick,; 614.256.3333.

COLUMBUS, OH (May 12, 2023) —The Ohio Healthy Homes Network today convened state and national health and safety leaders in its first in-person spring conference event since the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss the future of lead poisoning prevention in Ohio. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff kicked off the event with a presentation about the prevalence of lead poisoning in Ohio and current efforts to eliminate the risk to Ohioans.

“Lead exposure represents a critical childhood preventable health risk,” said Vanderhoff. “Governor DeWine has recognized that this problem requires an all-hands-on-deck response to have a meaningful effect on the outcomes of lead exposure in our children.”

Vanderhoff was followed by National Center for Healthy Housing Chief Scientist David Jacobs, Ph.D., who reviewed the history of lead poisoning prevention dating back to the 1970s, while discussing the latest and most effective means of prevention and remediation. “It is incumbent on our generation to solve the lead poisoning problem. But the only way we will do it is if science and citizen action triumph over a policy paralysis paradox,” said Jacobs.

“The problem of lead poisoning is one that we can solve if we commit to working together, combining our resources and pooling our knowledge,” said OHHN Executive Director Fred Strahorn. “Events like today’s conference are designed to facilitate the exchange of information and the building of relationships that can further the work we all are doing to prevent lead poisoning in Ohio.”

Ohio currently has the second highest rate of children testing positive for elevated blood lead levels (EBLL) in the country. Statistics show that nearly three in 100 Ohio children have tested positive for EBLLs. Ninety-five percent of child lead poisoning is caused by lead dust from old lead paint in houses built before 1978. Child lead poisoning can cause lifelong, irreversible brain and nervous system damage which can lead to learning and behavioral challenges, lower IQ, lower academic achievement, increased hyperactivity, emotional problems and future delinquent behavior.

Learn more about OHHN at its website,


The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is a leading 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.

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