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Lawrence Group Receives EPA Funding to Curb Exposure to Lead and Other Toxics

Release Date: 10/28/2003
Contact Information: Amy Miller, Public Affairs Office (617-918-1042)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded $72,141 to a social service agency in Lawrence for its environmental education program that teaches parents how to reduce exposure to lead and other toxic pollutants in the home. The funding to Family Services Inc. for its "Healthy Kids" program was announced at a press conference this afternoon at the nonprofit organization's offices in Lawrence.

Family Services was one of 20 organizations in New England to receive grants from EPA's regional office worth a total of $198,700. The Lawrence-based agency also received a grant from EPA's national office in Washington DC.

Through a $62,493 grant from EPA in Washington, Family Services will identify key professionals in the Lawrence and Worcester areas who have access to parents through their jobs. Once identified, these individual will receive an eight-hour training program on educating bilingual parents about reducing their children's exposure to lead, mercury and other toxics in the home.

Through a $9,648 grant from EPA's New England office, Family Services will hold bilingual workshops for parents aimed at reducing children's exposure to toxic chemicals in the home, and will educate parents on environmental health risks and their impact on child development. "Healthy Kids" aims to reach more than 100 parents and potentially to benefit the health of hundreds of children.

"This EPA funding will help Family Services achieve its goal of making the environment safer for all of Lawrence's citizens, especially its children," said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator for EPA's New England Office, who announced the grants at today's press conference. "Environmental education is a critical first step in ensuring safe, healthy and clean conditions for future generations."

Kay Berthold Frishman, executive director of Family Services, accepted the grant on behalf of the non-profit organization.