Public Health Heroes: Lead Poisoning Prevention Team
Friday Oct 13th, 2017
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week begins October 22, but for BCHD’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) Team, the call to action comes every day of the year. Although preventable, lead poisoning and exposure remains a serious problem for Baltimore City residents.
The federal government banned the use of lead-containing paint in 1978, but the lead from paint used during that era remains hazardous to Baltimore residents every day. BCHD seeks to reduce lead poisoning through primary prevention and enforcement of the City’s lead laws. The Team continues to go above and beyond to provide specialized care to everyone affected by lead.
BCHD’s Director of CLPPP, Camille Burke, says that lead poisoning is often underestimated as a public health concern.
“Even though strides have been made, lead poisoning is still a problem,” said Burke. “The problem doesn’t just affect families with economic challenges either. People must acknowledge that lead has no boundaries. It disproportionally affects those families who have economic challenges, but also families who don’t have as many economic barriers.”
To prevent an increase in blood lead levels, the Lead Program works with Baltimore families to provide comprehensive preventative case management for children (ages 5-9) who have tested positive for low levels of lead poisoning.
In addition, the group works with a licensed staff of community health workers and environmental sanitarians who visit homes to assess the sources of lead poisoning. The Lead Program also provides case management and referrals to other city, state, local and non-profit partners because they recognize that families may have other health or housing needs that have to be addressed.