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TDEC to Host Lead Poisoning Awareness Event Oct. 23

Friday, October 19, 2012 | 09:26am

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is Oct. 21-27

NASHVILLE – In observance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will host an educational outreach event for area families, designed to raise awareness of the dangers of lead-based paint exposure and childhood lead poisoning on Tuesday, Oct. 23, beginning at 10 a.m. at War Memorial Plaza.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the event will provide Davidson County residents with the opportunity to sign up for a free lead-based paint inspection in their home, performed by TDEC, and enroll in free lead-safe job training.

Entertainment will be provided by volunteer music groups from TDEC and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Families will be treated to hotdogs and other treats, as well as promotional and health items. 

Other agencies participating in the day’s activities include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Metro Nashville Public Health Department, along with a number of local government and community organizations across the state. 

WHO:               Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 

WHAT:             National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week – Outreach Event            

WHEN:             Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.       

WHERE:           Tennessee War Memorial Plaza, 400 6th Avenue North, Nashville           

In observance of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Oct. 21-27, events such as state proclamations, free screenings, lead-awareness community events and educational campaigns will be conducted nationwide.

Lead is a toxic metal once used for many years in products found in and around the home. Although lead-based paint was banned for use in residential structures in 1978, deterioration of old buildings, remodeling and renovation of older houses, and lead in dust and soil result in a continuing health threat – especially for young children. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly half a million children living in the U.S. have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma convulsions and even death.  

TDEC’s Toxic Substances Program works to protect the people of Tennessee from environmental and health hazards caused by three toxic substances: lead, asbestos and polychlorinated bi-phenyls.  The program administers a lead-based paint certification program that outlines procedures and requirements for accreditation of training programs, certification of professionals and work practice standards for conducting lead-based paint abatement activities. To be certified in Tennessee in one of the seven lead-based paint disciplines, individuals must meet specific experience and education criteria, take the appropriate training course, and pass the Tennessee State certification exam.  The purpose is to ensure that individuals are properly trained and use proper safe work practice standards.  To learn more about the Toxic Substances Program, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/swm/toxicsubstancesprg/

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