TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation is joining with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing the week of Oct. 24 – 30 as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week throughout the Cherokee Nation.
“We want to raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and expectant mothers,” said Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation principal chief. “High blood lead levels can pose a threat to children if not detected early, and we are happy to partner with the Centers for Disease Control to bring awareness to this danger.”
According to data from the CDC, nearly 250,000 children across the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health. If the high levels are not detected early, children can suffer from damages to the brain and nervous system as well as behavior and learning problems.
To raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and expectant mothers, the Cherokee Nation joins with the CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in encouraging parents to learn more about how to prevent lead poisoning.
This year’s theme is “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future” and promotes the importance of testing your home and children and learning how to prevent the health effects of lead poisoning.
Established in 1999 by the U.S. Senate, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week occurs each year during the last week of October. For more information, contact Shaun West at (918) 453-5363.