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EPA Awards $200,000 to Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Release Date: 01/08/2010
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

PHOENIX- EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today awarded $200,000 to the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona to fund childhood lead poisoning prevention campaigns for 20 tribes in Arizona.  

Young children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning since they are more likely to ingest lead paint chips, flakes, or dust and are more sensitive to the adverse health effects of lead. Elevated lead levels in young children can trigger learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and brain damage. Lead can be found in a number of places inside and outside the home. For example, lead can be found in household dust from deteriorating lead-based paint or from soil tracked into the house. It can also be found in drinking water coming from old lead pipes, fixtures and solder.

"Childhood lead poisoning is easily preventable with the right information and awareness. This grant will help Arizona tribal communities raise awareness about preventing lead's adverse health effects,” said Administrator Jackson. “This project is an important example of the efforts happening across the country to protect our children from a major health threat.”

The Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona is developing culturally specific outreach materials to educate tribal families, especially parents of young children, and tribal staff on the health risks to children from exposure to lead-based paint. The program specifically reaches out to facility maintenance personnel to stress the importance of using lead-safe work practices when renovating buildings.

The use of lead-based paint in U.S. residential housing was banned in 1978. Approximately 75 percent of the U.S. housing stock built before 1978, or 64 million homes, contain some lead-based paint.
For information on EPA’s lead paint program, go to:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/lead/
For information on lead in paint, dust and soil, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/lead/.
For information on protecting your family from lead hazards, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadinfo.htm#where