Congress Delivers Lump of Lead to our Nation's Children


Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Bill Cuts CDC’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program by 94%

Columbia, MD (December 20, 2011)—Ending the federal budgeting process last week, Congress and the Administration dealt a devastating blow to the fight against childhood lead poisoning. The Omnibus Appropriations Bill cut funding for the CDC’s Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to $2 million—a 94% reduction from FY11.

Lead poisoning still remains a significant environmental public health threat that affects over 30 million homes and nearly a half-million children annually.

Today, parents of lead poisoned children can rely on their state or local health departments for help. A nurse or trained professional will come to their house and find the source of lead poisoning—such as lead-based paint, soil, or dust, water, or even toys or pottery. The program may connect parents to resources to remove hazards and can compel rental property owners to fix hazards. The program also prevents the disease through policies, and community education, and outreach.

“Congress gave our children a lump of lead this holiday season,” said Rebecca Morley, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.

“Studies show that educating a child with lead poisoning costs an extra $38,000. If even half of the children with lead poisoning incur these costs, that’s a $10 billion price tag,” continued Morley. “The cost of eliminating this program is staggering.”

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