News and Events
Children's Health Month
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates Children's Health Month each October by developing publications and activities that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. Get more information from EPA Children's Health Protection.
October 20-26, 2019 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The Alabama Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program aligns with the goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States and uses this time to:
- Raise awareness about the serious health issues associated with lead
- Emphasize the importance of screening children for lead exposure at 12 and 24 months of age and up to 6 years of age if not tested earlier
- Educate people to take steps to reduce their risk of lead poisoning
Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered to be the most preventable environmental disease of young children, yet an estimated 500,000 U.S. children have blood lead levels at or above the blood lead reference value, the level at which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends public health actions begin. A simple blood test can prevent a lifetime spoiled by the irreversible damage caused by lead poisoning.
For more information, visit the NLPPW at the CDC.
Association of Prenatal and Childhood Blood Lead Concentrations with Criminal Arrests in Early Adulthood
According to a study by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, exposure to lead as a child may be associated with violent criminal behavior later in life. The study followed 250 individuals who were born between 1979 and 1984, tracking the mothers’ blood lead concentrations during pregnancy and recording lead levels in the children from birth to 6.5 years of age. The researchers then obtained records of how many times the individuals were arrested between turning 18 and October 2005. They found that elevated blood levels were associated with higher rates of total arrests and arrests for violent crimes with the risk of being arrested for a violent crime increasing almost 50% for every 5 mcg/dL increase in blood lead level. (Read the full article)
Pre-1978 Home Renovations
Beginning in April of 2010 major renovation and maintenance in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities will be subject to new rules. As part of its efforts to eliminate the risk of lead poisoning, the EPA passed a new rule requiring that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Additionally, starting in December 2008, renovators in these areas will be required to provide owners and occupants with the pamphlet "Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools." More information can be found at the EPA.
Page last updated: December 20, 2019