The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 23-29. The week is dedicated to actions that address health effects of lead exposure, and increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention. The World Health Organization Global Alliance sponsors International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week each year to stop the production and sale of lead paint and to raise awareness of childhood lead poisoning around the globe. Other participants include the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“The Connecticut Department of Public Health Lead & Healthy Homes Program is supportive of the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week initiative. Several of our state’s local health departments are conducting activities such as educational displays and local radio station interviews”, said Krista Veneziano of the DPH Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. She added, “This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, highlights the importance of testing your child, developing an awareness of lead paint hazards in your home and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.”
Lead paint use was banned in the United States in 1978. And while the prevalence and incidence rates of lead poisoned children in Connecticut have been decreasing over the past fifteen years due to mandatory childhood screening and primary prevention efforts, our state’s housing stock is among the oldest in the country. This means that many houses still contain lead paint hazards that have the potential to poison children. It is important for residents to understand the steps they can take to protect children from lead poisoning in homes built before 1978.