Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition Urges EPA to Preserve Lead Program Funding

Coalition Says Lead Risk Reduction Program and Lead Categorical Grants Are Essential

Media Contact: Dr. David Jacobs, 202.607.0938,
COLUMBIA, MD (April 25, 2017) - The National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition on Tuesday announced the release of a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Signed by 226 organizations and 368 individuals from 46 states and the District of Columbia, the letter urges the Administrator to preserve funding for vital EPA programs to prevent lead poisoning. 
A recent EPA memorandum marked two lead poisoning prevention programs for elimination: the Lead Risk Reduction Program and lead categorical grants to states. These programs support the hazard standards, work practices, and services that keep children, pregnant women, and workers safe from lead poisoning. Thousands of neighborhoods and millions of children across the country depend on programs like these to protect them from lead. The Coalition calls on Administrator Pruitt to fully fund EPA’s lead programs and join other members of the Administration in supporting increased funding for childhood lead poisoning prevention. 

Over 535,000 children under the age of six have elevated blood lead levels (readings above the CDC reference level). Childhood exposure to lead has lifelong consequences, including decreased IQ and cognitive function, developmental delays, and behavior problems; very high levels can cause seizures, coma, and even death.

“Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. We know how to fix this problem. We should act on what the science tells us, not eliminate programs that work,” said Dr. David Jacobs, Chief Scientist for the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), who co-authored the letter with Charlotte Brody of Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), Ruth Ann Norton of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), and Steve Weil from the Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA).

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