October 24, 2011
County’s Proactive Approach to Lead Poisoning Continues Year Round
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. emphasized the need to maintain the County’s aggressive approach to dealing with the childhood lead poisoning year round, as he issued a proclamation commemorating National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23rd-29th.
“Throughout my tenure as County Executive, Oneida County, through its Lead Primary Prevention Program (LPP), has led the way in combating one of the state’s highest childhood lead poisoning rates through innovative and proactive programs that have come to serve as models for other programs both statewide and nationally.”
Picente pointed to such programs as the partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College which regularly conducts EPA mandated Renovator classes; classes for Codes Enforcement personnel; seminars for judges, attorneys, and hearing officers; landlord and tenant seminars; the paint stabilization program; and the HEPA Vacuum loaner program as initiatives designed to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Oneida County. Additionally, the County’s LPP conducts free home inspections in designated areas of Cornhill and West Utica for units with children under 6-years of age to identify those at high risk.
Oneida County Director of Health Dr. Gayle Jones said National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is an opportunity to create awareness to the potential of childhood lead poisoning in our community and the ways the risk of irreparable harm to children can be reduced.
“In a community like ours with the majority of homes built before 1978, every child should be tested for exposure to lead at age one and again at age two,” Jones said. “Property owners need to be aware of the importance of maintaining their properties and insuring that only certified renovators, properly trained in lead safe work practices, complete work and repairs when necessary.”
As part of the campaign to raise awareness, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) worked with the Mohawk Valley Head Start teachers on a lesson plan and provided 800 lead poisoning prevention packets for families stressing the importance of lead testing and measures to reduce exposure to lead hazards in the home. The children completed art work with the theme of having a “lead free” home which will be displayed at various locations beginning Monday. The locations include:
- Utica Food Bank
- 1st floor of the Oneida County Office Building
- The Oneida County Health Clinics and WIC offices in both Utica and Rome
- The Utica Public Library and Jervis Library in Rome
For information on any of the programs and services provided by the Lead Primary Prevention Program visit our web site at ocgov.net or call 266-6147.