East Chicago/Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group

x East Chicago, IL 46312

With funding from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, NCHH awarded 15 $5,000 Lead Poisoning Awareness Community Mini-Grants in 2017. These grants were for community events focused on raising awareness, engaging community leaders in advocacy, or motivating policy change around lead poisoning prevention.
As a mini-grantee, the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group (CAG) held an event titled “Lunch and Learn about Lead,” designed and implemented to educate the public, engage the public, and orient the public on the dangers and self-awareness protective measures of lead contamination.
The event had 138 attendees and included the following elements:
• Presentation of the History of Lead Contamination in East Chicago
• Keynote Speaker, Dr. Bruce Lanphear, presented on the dangerous health risks / effects of Lead to children that extend to adulthood.
• Panelists, including a resident, a school principle, a daycare provider, two physicians and Dr. from Indiana State University addressed the open floor public question and answer segment after explaining their personal confrontations / concerns with Lead.
• Three “Show and Tell” presentation learning intermissions throughout the day. Two were by Indiana State University: one on taking home soil samples so they can test and the other on using the Home Water Lead Test Kits and Indoor Lead Dust Swipe Kits. The EPA did a Water Filter Presentation on how to accurately install and use a Faucet Water Filter.
• Four informational tables, staffed by representatives from EPA, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana State University, and HealthLine.
• The afternoon open floor brainstorming session enlisted the input of all attendees and pinpointed six key community aspects of concerns that need to be further implemented to establish corrective citywide measurements.
Going forward, the community members present at the event, including those working the four informational booths, became ambassadors of lead awareness. Following the event, Indiana Legal Services addressed CAG meeting attendees on a new City of East Chicago Lead Awareness grant that benefits those affected with Lead. The CAG has also worked with Indiana State University to undertake soil testing in the community.

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