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EPA Funds Grants for Four Lead Poisoning Prevention Projects in Michigan Communities

Saturday, February 23, 2008 General News J E 4
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CHICAGO, Feb. 22 The Faith-based Lead Poisoning Prevention Project of Saginaw, the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness, the city of Kalamazoo, and Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan have been awarded grants to fund community lead poisoning prevention projects. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5's grant program is part of a national goal to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a major public health concern by 2010.



The Faith-based Lead Poisoning Prevention Project of Saginaw -- a coalition of church groups along with city and county agencies, community development corporations, minority and small business owners, and parent groups -- received $100,000 to create education, training and blood lead testing programs for parents and family support advocates. Community education will also encourage lead-safe work practices among homeowners and renovation workers.



The Detroit Department of Health and Wellness received $100,000 to implement an environmental assessment and lead prevention education project targeted to parents of newborns in conjunction with the Detroit Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Program. Newborn children in high-risk zip codes in Detroit will be targeted and each birth certificate will be attached to lead awareness and testing literature.



The city of Kalamazoo in partnership with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo County and the Wayne County Prosecutors Office, received $100,000 to educate contractors, landlords, realtors, tenants and homeowners about the new lead-safe law in Michigan and lead-safe work practices. A portion of the funds will be used for lead assessment in older housing stock.



Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan received $98,935 to train outreach workers within the Hispanic community about lead safe work practices in order to educate people in the Hispanic community. The Coalition will develop culturally competent Lead Safe Work Practices lesson plans in Spanish.



The Michigan projects are among 13 in the six-state region that received more than $1 million in lead grant money last year. More than 60 proposals were received from groups in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.



According to the Centers for Disease Control there were 13.5 million children in the U.S. in 1978 with elevated blood lead levels. By 2002, that number had dropped to 310,000.



While children in the U.S. can be exposed to lead from a variety of sources, their primary source of lead exposure is lead-based paint, including the dust and paint chips from deteriorating paint or from improperly conducted renovation work involving the paint.



Additional information on these and other grants can be found at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/grantmap.htm.





SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5
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