EPA Awards More Than $540,000 to Reduce Lead Poisoning in High-Risk Communities
EPA Region 7 has awarded six grants in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska in areas with high incidences of children with elevated blood-lead levels.
EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew said, “Protecting our children from lead poisoning is a top priority for EPA. These grants support the federal goal to eliminate lead poisoning in children by 2010 in partnership with local community organizations.”
Lead poisoning is one of the most serious health threats to children. High levels of lead in children can cause a range of health effects, from learning disabilities to seizures and death. Children less than six years old are most at risk, because their developing nervous systems are especially vulnerable to lead’s effects.
The more than $540,000 EPA awarded is part of $5.2 million in grants awarded this year. The six grant projects in Region 7 will identify children at risk for lead poisoning, increase the number of blood tests, provide lead poisoning educational materials in English and Spanish, and offer in-home inspections to identify lead hazards.
The following community organizations received grants:
Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health, Mason City - $66,978
Community Development Department, Waterloo - $100,000
Polk County Health Department, Des Moines - $85,233
Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers Inc., St. Louis - $100,000
Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, Kearney - $90,520
Father Flanagan’s Boys Home, Omaha - $99,244
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