Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has awarded $200,000 to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona to fund childhood lead poisoning prevention campaigns for 20 tribes in Arizona.
The EPA says young children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning since they are more likely to ingest lead paint chips, flakes, or dust and are more sensitive to the adverse health effects of lead. Elevated lead levels in young children can trigger learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and brain damage. Lead can be found in a number of places inside and outside the home.
“Childhood lead poisoning is easily preventable with the right information and awareness. This grant will help Arizona tribal communities raise awareness about preventing lead’s adverse health effects,” Jackson said.
“This project is an important example of the efforts happening across the country to protect our children from a major health threat.”
ITCA is developing culturally specific outreach materials to educate tribal families, especially parents of young children, and tribal staff on the health risks to children from exposure to lead-based paint. The program specifically reaches out to facility maintenance personnel to stress the importance of using lead-safe work practices when renovating buildings.