Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet nearly one million children are affected.
To coincide with National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 21 -27), the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Ad Council are encouraging all families to get their children (ages 0-6) and homes (built before 1978) tested for lead poisoning.
To extend this critical health message to caregivers, parents and pregnant women, they redistributed their national Lead Poisoning Prevention public service advertising (PSAs) nationwide.
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This year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.
A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. In children, lead paint poisoning can cause lifelong learning disabilities, hearing loss, speech delays, developmental disabilities and aggressive/violent behaviors.
“Lead poisoning is indiscriminate, affecting children of all races and ethnicities, in rural and urban communities, and at every socioeconomic level,” said Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning.
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The most common pathway for lead poisoning is dust from deteriorating lead-based paint (on older windows, doors and trim, or walls) or through improper renovation, repair and painting activities in older homes and buildings that cause paint to chip, peel or flake.
Families need to make sure the proper measures are taken when renovating, repairing or painting older homes built before 1978 by implementing lead-safe work practices.
Created pro bono by New York-based ad agency Merkley+Partners, the television, radio, print and digital PSAs target parents, caregivers and pregnant women whose children are at the greatest risk for lead poisoning.