Bright Paint or Bright Kids: Save CDC’s lead poisoning prevention funding
Last month, Congress approved the FY12 budget, and decreased funding for the CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program by 94%—virtually dismantling the program.
Banning lead in gasoline and most paint in the United States has been a public health victory that—even in the face of powerful industries and their lobbyists—has benefited all of us. But, at one time, it was also a difficult choice politically, and it took advocates years to change national policies to protect health. In the Nation of Change article, “Bright Paint or Bright Kids,” Larry Cohen describes how lead poisoning prevention advocates succeeded in building healthier communities through policy change, despite corporations downplaying the problem and lobbyist attempts to derail their efforts. Read the full article now.
It's not too late to restore this important funding: call or write a letter to your Senator or Representative and ask them to support restoration of the CDC Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the FY 2013 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill to their previous FY 2011 level of $29.257 million. Today, a quarter of a million kids (and their families, schools, our healthcare system and workplaces) continue to suffer from preventable lead poisoning as a result of residual lead toxicity from previous generations and other exposures that aren’t well regulated. Cutting the program now will halt decades of national surveillance and monitoring for lead poisoning, end support to state and local lead prevention programs, and exacerbate health disparities in low-income children of color.
It’s time for all of us to stand up and show zero tolerance for lead poisoning. Our children are counting on us.