In the past the use of lead was commonplace in industry and in our homes. The metal was used in everything from piping to paints. At the time families and business were unaware of the negative impact that exposure to lead – and resulting high blood lead levels – may have upon the health and development of children.
Since learning about the dangers of lead, efforts to educate the community to the risk, screen children for exposure and abate possible sources of lead exposure have become priorities globally, nationally, across the Commonwealth and locally in Lancaster County. According to the World Health Organization’s report on Childhood Lead Poisoning, “Acute and chronic lead poisoning remain problems of enormous importance for child health and development worldwide” (2011).
Children in Lancaster County are often not screened for high blood lead levels. Annually the rate at which Lancaster County children age seven and younger are screened for high blood lead levels lags behind the state average despite there being significant risk of lead exposure in the region. The increased risk of exposure in the county can be attributed to the use of lead-based paints in older homes, lead residue and contamination resulting from industrial activities and mining as well as other sources.
CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is committed to addressing the impact of this environmental toxin upon the health and well-being of children in the Lancaster Community.
Read more about Lancaster County’s lead situation in this Lancaster Online article.
Past Community Initiative Grant Recipients for Lead Poisoning Prevention, Screening & Abatement have included:
- Community Action Program/Head Start