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EPA Encourages Newburgh Families to Have Soil Checked for Lead

Release Date: 10/15/2014
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

      (New York, NY) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck today joined Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy and Richard Mayfield, Orange County’s Director of the Office of Community Development, to encourage Newburgh residents to reduce their exposure to lead from soil and paint. The officials were at the Lead Safe Newburgh Coalition's "Soil Kitchen" event at the Riverfront Marina, where Newburgh families could have their soil screened for lead on the spot and receive personalized advice from lead experts from EPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Orange County Department of Health and Mount Sinai’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.

      Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Babies and young children can also be more highly exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths. Children may also be exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain lead, ingesting lead dust from lead-based paint or lead-contaminated soil, or from playing with toys with lead paint.

      “Infants’ and children’s developing bodies are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "The Soil Kitchen program is a great way for families to have their soil checked and learn about precautions they can take to reduce lead exposure."

      Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain. Even low lead levels in blood have been shown to have adverse effects.