Event at Home Depot Visit the ACLPPP table at Home Depot’s Store Anniversary (4000 Alameda Ave, Oakland) from 10-2 on Saturday, June 23rd. Learn about protecting your family, neighbors, and clients from lead poisoning AND pick up a Lead-Safe Supply Shopping List!
The 2012 Toxies awards will be handed out June 24th. There is still time to vote for the Toxies People’s Choice Award. This clever campaign reminds us that we can all take small steps every day to make our homes healthier. Click HERE to Vote Today!
The number of children considered at risk of lead poisoning jumped by more than five-fold on Wednesday, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its threshold for the diagnosis.
Children’s health advocates applauded the decision, but also expressed concern that recent congressional budget cuts will drastically limit funds that could help affected kids and prevent further poisoning.
You’ve probably heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week lowered the limit for child lead poisoning from 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to five, so what does this mean for you and your family?
According to the CDC, about 250,000 children in the U.S. between the ages of one and five years old, have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. The lower limit would put that figure at approximately 450,000.
However, even that level of lead is not ideal. “There is no safe level of lead in children, and so we should be trying our hardest to remove all lead from their environment,” says Christopher Portier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.
As a parent, the safety steps you can take to protect your child from lead poisoning remain the same, according to Portier. Here is his list of best practices:
- Know that lead can be found in a variety of sources, including homes built before 1978, lead plumbing, and imported products such as children’s toys and jewelry.
- Talk to your local health department about testing for lead in household paint and dust.
- Be careful about DIY projects around the house. For homes built before 1978, sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead paint chips and the like. Renovations should be done by a certified professional.
- Mop areas frequently where you see paint chips or dust from peeling house paint.
- Limit lead from soil that can be tracked into your home by wiping feet on mats outside the door, and have people remove shoes before entering your house.
- Remove recalled toys and children’s jewelry from your home and stay on top of recall announcements from the Consumer Protection Safety Commission.
- If after testing, you find your child has lead in his or her blood, discuss the results with your physician and seek out local community health organizations about what the next steps are.
CDC Accepts Advisory Committee Recommendation to Replace “Level of Concern” for Lead Poisoning with New Reference Value
Renews Commitment to Primary Prevention of Lead Poisoning
Columbia, MD – May 16, 2012 – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced its acceptance of its advisory committee’s recommendation to redefine the level at which children are considered to have too much lead in their blood and to focus the nation’s attention on preventing lead exposure.
CDC’s “level of concern,” unchanged since 1991, is a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter. The new reference value, which is based on population blood lead levels, would focus action on those children with the highest blood lead levels (i.e. those above the 97.5th percentile). The revised value would be five micrograms per deciliter. The change will increase the number of children requiring follow-up services from less than 100,000 to 450,000.
The National Center for Healthy Housing and the American Public Health Association expressed their support for the decision –stating that the policy change is supported by overwhelming evidence and that more resources are needed to fully implement the decision.
“Despite the near elimination of CDC funding for lead poisoning, this is the right policy for the nation’s children. Parents will now have the information they need to protect their families from lead,” said Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.
CDC’s action today also underscores the need for prevention, since the damage caused by lead poisoning is irreversible. Older housing with lead-based paint, and the dust and soil it generates, are the key sources of exposure for children. CDC will call on housing officials and others to join the public health community in prevention efforts.
“The evidence provided by the committee clearly demonstrates that even lower levels of lead exposure can adversely impact one’s health,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “These recommendations should be a wake-up call to members of Congress that they are missing opportunities to protect the health of our nation’s children. Appropriate funding for lead poisoning programs must be reinstated.”
The president’s 2012 budget proposed cutting CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and its Asthma Control Program by 50 percent. Congress passed a final budget in December cutting the program from $29 million in 2011, to just $2 million.
New findings suggest that the adverse health effects of BLLs less than 10 ug/dL in children extend beyond cognitive function to include cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects.
Families can prevent exposures by keeping homes “lead-safe,” and agencies can help eliminate lead poisoning by enforcing new EPA regulations requiring the use of lead-safe work practices during home renovation and repairs and targeting resources to high-risk families and communities.
The Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP) is a program in the California Department of Public Health that helps employers, workers, and others prevent lead poisoning in workers.
How does OLPPP help prevent work-related lead poisoning?
- Identify lead-poisoned workers and help them get proper medical care
- Help workers avoid carrying lead home on their clothes and poisoning their families
- Assist employers to improve their lead safety practices
- Provide information to help doctors, nurses, and others care for lead-poisoned workers
- Track adult blood lead levelsto find out who is exposed to lead in California
- Help clinical labs comply with adult blood lead reporting requirements
Six U.S. senators are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately examine the health threats posed by forgotten factory sites featured in a recent USA TODAY investigation.
In a letter sent Wednesday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the senators urged the EPA to “take immediate action” to review unassessed sites and to set priorities for remediation, such as sites near schools or playgrounds. “It is necessary to ensure that people living near these sites, especially children, are safe,” the letter said.
A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Lead Contamination in Soil
USA Today has published a follow-up article on their April 20, 2012, USA Today special investigative report about soil lead contamination in neighborhoods near 230 old lead-factory sites through-out the United States: http://usat.ly/IjyEtf . The original article can be found at http://usat.ly/HX5zr7
One of the sites listed in the report is the A. Bercovich/Sunset Smelting and Refining Company, previously located at 1639 18th St. near Campbell St. in West Oakland. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) lists the site history as a paint company and smelting and refining operation from 1912 to 1962, and a metal salvage business from 1963 to 1988. USA Today’s test results found lead levels ranging from 19 parts per million (ppm) to 2268 ppm in the surrounding neighborhood. The EPA and State of California have set a standard of 400 ppm as a hazard in bare soil in children’s play areas. These levels are dangerous especially to young children.
The Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program offers the following guidance:
Too many areas of Alameda County have dangerous levels of lead in the soil due to industrial emissions, prior use of leaded gasoline, and lead-based paint.
Many yards have lead contaminated soil near or next to pre-1978 homes.
Anyone can be lead poisoned but young children and pregnant women are the most at risk.
Most lead poisoning from lead in soil occurs when young children have direct contact with contaminated bare soil, and ingest it by putting their hands or toys in their mouth.
There is no safe level of lead in the body.
It is important to reduce exposures from all sources of lead.
Lead poisoning can be prevented.