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2013 International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Hits Atlanta

HUD Healthy Homes Representative Jonnette Simmons providing helpful lead prevention information

Lead prevention volunteer answering questions during Lead Prevention week in Atlanta

In recognition of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, last month HUD along with Lead Safe Atlanta, the Center for Working Families, Inc, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Morehouse School of Medicine, Agnes Scott, and EPA partnered to host several community events to increase lead paint awareness and prevention in the Atlanta Metro area. The year's International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week theme was entitled "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future".

"It's vital that parents ask their child's pediatrician to get tested for lead if they live or visit grandma's home that is built before 1978, childhood lead poisoning can result in loss of IQ or hyperactivity, but it is entirely preventable," said Jonette Simmons, HUD's Atlanta Regional Office, Healthy Homes Program.

Elizabeth Wilde, Regional 4 Lead Coordinator, U.S. EPA, Region 4 added, "Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a persistent and tragic condition for too many children, and educating all on the dangers of lead exposure continues to be a high priority for EPA. The many outreach activities planned by HUD are valuable activities in the fight against childhood lead poisoning, and we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the programs this last week."

Atlanta's outreach and educational campaign encouraged parents to have their young children tested for lead by their pediatrician, and testing toys and other household items on-site at the Atlanta Educare Learning Center located in Mechanicsville neighborhood. The event also included a demonstration of proper hand washing to the preschoolers. According to the Centers of Disease Control hand washing is an effective way to prevent spread of infection and illness. The week's lead paint events culminated with the Lead Safe Atlanta partners providing one-on-one outreach to make parents aware of the lead risk factors such as living or visiting older homes, and providing information on how to work safely when painting or rehabbing your home.

For more information go to HUD's Healthy Homes Program.