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EPA Awards Grant to Help Teach Baltimore Residents About Dangers of Lead Poisoning

Release Date: 10/24/2013
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

BALTIMORE (October 24, 2013) -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $30,000 environmental justice grant to the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to help educate Baltimore residents about the dangers of lead poisoning and what residents can do to protect themselves.

“It is vital that we help educate parents and caretakers on the importance of safeguarding children from the dangers of lead in their homes,” said EPA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This environmental justice grant is an important step in our ongoing efforts to stamp out the childhood lead poisoning in Baltimore neighborhoods.”

A major source of lead poisoning among children is lead-based paint. Even though its sale and use was banned for residential use in 1978, lead-based paint is still prevalent in older urban areas, such as Baltimore. Paint chips from windows and doors are often ingested by small children. And dust and soil becomes contaminated as the paint deteriorates. Lead poisoning, for the most part, is silent and most poisoned children have no symptoms but they can develop behavior and learning disabilities, slowed growth, seizures and damage to the brain and nervous system.

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Poisoning) will use the funding to increase public awareness of the risks associated with lead paint poisoning in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s new, more restrictive recommendation for blood lead levels in children. The coalition will distribute updated educational material to health care facilities, child care facilities and residents.

EPA’s announcement coincides with Children’s Health Month (October) and National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct. 20-26), which this year is promoting the theme: “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future” to underscore the importance of the many ways parents can reduce a child's exposure to lead and prevent its serious health effects.

This grant is one of 39 environmental justice grants totaling $1.1 million that EPA awarded nationwide this year to non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues. The grants will help organizations develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in low-income, minority and tribal communities overburdened by harmful pollution. For a list of all grantees, visit:

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process. Since 1994, EPA’s environmental justice small grants program has supported projects to address environmental justice issues in more than 1,400 communities. The grant awards represent EPA’s commitment to promoting community-based actions to address environmental justice issues.

For more information about the dangers of lead poisoning, visit: .
For more information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program, visit: .