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EPA Grants Will Help Burlington Address Childhood Lead Poisoning
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Contact: David Deegan (firstname.lastname@example.org), EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017
Graham Dewyea, Burlington Lead Program Coordinator (802-865-7594)
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2005; Release # ddgd051001
(Burlington, VT) – Two grants from EPA’s New England regional office will help the City of Burlington’s efforts to reduce risks for children from exposure to lead. The City won two highly competitive EPA grants, totaling $80,000, to advance the efforts of the city-wide Door-to-Door Lead Education and Testing program.
"Childhood lead poisoning continues to be an issue throughout New England, especially in places like Burlington where many homes are older and may still have lead-based paint,” said Ken Moraff, of EPA’s New England regional office, who announced the grants today at the Burlington’s City Hall. “Childhood lead poisoning is entirely preventable, and our goal is to eliminate lead poisoning as a health issue for kids in New England.”
One of the grants, announced today in Burlington, was among 23 selected in New England this year through the regionally-designed Healthy Communities Grant Program. The other award was from EPA headquarters through the targeted grants to reduce childhood lead poisoning grant competition.
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle commented: "Burlington's lead poisoning rate exceeds the national average and overall testing rates for children under age six are quite low. This is not acceptable and the City of Burlington has made it a top priority to address this problem head on and make Burlington the first truly lead safe city in the country. This important funding from the Environmental Protection Agency will help us achieve this goal and make a real difference in the lives of our children."
Lead was contained in paint prior to 1978, and buildings constructed before then are known to present lead-based hazards. Lead poisoning is a significant problem in New England since the region has some of the oldest housing stock in the country. Low-level lead poisoning is widespread among American children, affecting as many as three million children under the age of six, with lead paint the primary cause. Children are especially susceptible to lead poisoning since they are more likely to ingest lead paint and are more sensitive to the effects of lead. Elevated blood lead levels in young children can trigger learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and even brain damage.
In 2003, EPA New England initiated the Healthy Communities Grant Program to join together resources from nine separate programs, in order to more strategically address environmental issues affecting public health. The grant program competitively identifies top quality community-based projects that will achieve measurable environmental and human health improvements in communities across New England.
More information on EPA New England’s Healthy Community Grants is available at:https://www.epa.gov/ne/eco/uep/grants_2005hc.html .