Action Alert - Speak Out Against the Elimination of CDC's Healthy Homes and Lead Program


Our Children Need CDC's Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention program has been zeroed out by the Senate appropriations committee in the proposed FY12 spending bill for Labor HHS.We know that everyone involved in or affected by these programs, and others who have participated this year in the effort to protect this program from a funding cut or an ill-conceived merger, share our utter chagrin at this decision. We had hoped to secure Congressional and HHS’ agreement to fully fund the program (which would mean restoring funds to the large cities and reversing the cuts in states’ grant amounts). The complete elimination of the program would discontinue all grants to states plus annihilate the branch’s key central functions such as surveillance/ epidemiology, blood laboratory proficiency, technical assistance, convening, expert public health leadership, and more. Take Action!

Reduction of lead exposure to children is perhaps the greatest environmental health accomplishment in the past 20 years. Thirty years ago, 13.5 million, or 80%, of children under the age of six had blood lead levels (BLL) of 10 µg/dL or greater.  Today less than 1% of children have levels that high. Still, more than 350,000 children under age six currently have dangerously high blood lead levels. Since 1989, the CDC’s Healthy Homes/ Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has reduced childhood lead burden by developing programs and policies to prevent elevated BLL in children (e.g. directing housing and enforcement resources to the highest risk addresses, neighborhoods and sub-populations; and education and research efforts).

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