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EPA Funds Two Grants for Lead Poisoning Prevention Projects in Chicago Communities
Date:2/22/2008

CHICAGO, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Illinois School of Public Health and a coalition of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, the Illinois American Pediatrics Association and the Chicago Department of Public Health 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 University of Illinois School of Public Health received $98,728 to promote lead-safe work practices through hardware stores, paint retailers and local health departments throughout Illinois. The outreach will provide training for retail employees and bring them into compliance with a new state law that requires signs and brochures on lead hazards in stores where paint is sold.

Metropolitan Tenants Association and its partners received $100,000 to create a lead hazard prevention intervention program with health professionals focusing on education, inspection and abatement in high-risk housing.

The 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 http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/grantmap.htm.
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SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5
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