The Lead-Free MV Coalition is pleased to announce the kick-off of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2018. Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners collaborate on a national outreach effort to observe National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), held this year from October 21-27.

The goal of NLPPW is to bring together families, individuals, community-based organizations, state and local governments and others, to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness and efforts to reduce childhood exposure to lead.

NLPPW also highlights the many ways parents can reduce children’s exposure to lead in their home environment and prevent its serious health effects. This year’s key themes are:

1. Get the Facts: Find out about the dangers of lead and environmental health hazards.
2. Get Your Home Tested: Find out how to minimize risks of lead exposure using the lead and healthy homes checklists.
3. Get Your Child Tested: A simple blood test can detect lead. Consult a health care provider or local health department for advice on testing children.

Visit www.leadfreemv.org/lead-poisoning-prevention to learn more.

In recent years, Oneida County has had one of the highest levels of childhood lead poisoning in the state. And despite a state law requiring early childhood testing for lead exposure, a third of pre-school children in Herkimer and Oneida counties have not had the required blood test.

The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties launched the Lead-Free MV Coalition in 2016 with a $1 million commitment to address children’s elevated blood lead levels in Herkimer and Oneida counties. With over 100 members representing nearly 50 local organizations and agencies, the Lead-Free MV Coalition includes representatives from public health, local government, legal, insurance, healthcare, education, child care, construction and support services constituencies. The coalition meets regularly and focuses on the reduction of lead hazards in pre-1978 housing, as well as expanding testing and community awareness of the problem.

In April 2018, The Community Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to reducing childhood lead poisoning, investing an additional $5 million to support the Lead-Free MV Coalition’s work over the next decade.

“The coalition model has proven to be successful because it allows us to bring together a wide variety of agencies and efforts, helping to create more impactful partnerships,” said Alicia Dicks, president/CEO of The Community Foundation. “As a collective, we’ve been able to leverage the effectiveness of our partners’ current strategies and identify opportunities that will allow for even greater outcomes. Lead-Free MV’s work has just begun.”

In observance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, the Lead-Free MV Coalition will focus its efforts on raising community awareness about the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent the serious health effects of exposure to lead.

For more information, visit www.leadfreemv.org.

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