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EPA Celebrates Children’s Health Month and National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Release Date: 10/24/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – October 24, 2011) Nearly a quarter of a million children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The EPA celebrates Children’s Health Month focusing on the important work that parents, communities and public agencies are doing to protect children, throughout October, during Children’s Health Month.

“Children actively explore the world around them, which makes their developing physical and neurological systems especially vulnerable to the dangers of lead poisoning,” said EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz. “We must do all we can to protect them from this silent threat by raising awareness.”

To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the EPA along with CDC and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 23–29.

This year's NLPPW theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. Homes built before 1978 should be inspected for lead hazards, and children living in these homes should be tested for lead. In addition, homeowners remodeling an older home are encouraged to talk to their contractor about ways to prevent lead poisoning during the renovation.
Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:
Get your home tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.
Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
Get the facts! Your local health department can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning.

For more information about lead poisoning prevention, call 1-800-424-LEAD.

More information about protecting children in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/children

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/oct2011.html

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