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EPA Funds Grants for Lead Poisoning Prevention Projects in Two Wisconsin Communities

CHICAGO, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sixteenth Street Community Center and the LaCrosse County Health Department have been awarded grants to fund community lead poisoning prevention projects. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5's grant program is part of a national goal to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a major public health concern by 2010.

The Sixteenth Street Community Center received $100,000 to provide blood lead screening for children and education to parents in medically underserved families, largely low-income Hispanic immigrants.

The LaCrosse County Health Department, in an area with older housing stock and one of the poorest populations in Wisconsin, has not had a lead poison prevention program to date. The $96,498 EPA grant will fund culturally appropriate outreach to the county's Hmong population.

The Wisconsin projects are among 13 in the six-state region that received more than $1 million in lead grant money last year. More than 60 proposals were received from groups in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control there were 13.5 million children in the U.S. in 1978 with elevated blood lead levels. By 2002, that number had dropped to 310,000.

While children in the U.S. can be exposed to lead from a variety of sources, their primary source of lead exposure is lead-based paint, including the dust and paint chips from deteriorating paint or from improperly conducted renovation work involving the paint.

Additional information on these and other grants can be found at

SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5
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