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U.S. EPA awards $75,000 to the Torres Martinez Tribe
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248
Grant funds awarded for lead hazard assessments and educational outreach
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a $75,000 federal grant to California’s Torres Martinez Tribe to determine the extent of lead-based paint hazards potentially affecting children living on the tribe’s land.
The EPA grant is among several awarded nationwide to assist federally-recognized tribes educate residents about the health effects of lead-based paint and evaluate potential lead-paint hazards at homes where tribal children live and at tribally-owned buildings used by children.
“This grant is critical in helping the Torres Martinez Tribe determine whether children are being exposed to lead-based paint or lead hazards in their homes, school, daycare or community buildings,” said Enrique Manzanilla, communities and ecosystems division director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “These funds will help protect the health and well-being of young children living on the tribe’s land.”
The funding will be used by the tribe to conduct workshops for tribal residents explaining the health risks of lead-based paint, in particular health risks to young children and expectant mothers. EPA funds will be used to sample paint, dust and soil in and around housing where young children live and at buildings used by children to determine whether children are potentially at risk of exposure to lead hazards. The tribe will also sample domestic tap water to determine whether leaded pipes or leaded faucets are a potential exposure pathway.
Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and also affects adults. Lead poisoning can cause brain damage and result in impaired mental functions. Childhood lead poisoning can result in retarded mental and physical development and reduced attention span. Retarded fetal development can occur at even low blood lead levels. Unborn children, infants and young children have been identified as being among the most vulnerable to lead's adverse health effects.
The use of lead-based paint in residential housing was banned in 1978. Approximately 75 percent of the U.S. housing stock built before 1978, or 64 million homes, contain some lead-based paint. For more information on the EPA’s lead paint program go to: https://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/lead/, for more information on lead in paint, dust and soil go to: https://www.epa.gov/lead, and for information on how to protect your family from lead hazards go to: https://www.epa.gov/lead/leadinfo.htm#protect.