Partners for Healthier Communities Receives Lead Grant
Goodall Hospital Wins State Contract & Continues Work With Landlords and Families to Prevent Lead Poisoning
AUGUST 24, 2010 [Sanford, ME]—Goodall Hospital announced today that it will continue its efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning in Sanford, as well as York District, thanks to a contract from Maine’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund.
The contract provides resources for Partners for Healthier Communities, a program of Goodall Hospital, to go out into the community to protect the children most at risk for lead poisoning. Prevention activities are focused on landlords who own old buildings as well as the parents of young children who live in those older rental units.
The reason for targeting these two groups is that data from Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that in Sanford, over 90 percent of all children poisoned by lead live in rental housing.
“We’ve made a lot of progress since we received our first lead poisoning prevention contract in 2008,” said Sarah Roberts, project director for Partners for Healthier Communities. “In the beginning, we were building our program and assessing the community’s needs. Now, we are working with area partners and landlords to educate on testing for lead dust, and teaching them how to deal with lead paint – before a child is poisoned.”
Dust from lead paint that was commonly used in houses and buildings built before 1950, and in some houses built before 1978, is by far the leading cause of childhood lead poisoning in Maine. As leaded paint gets old and breaks down, lead dust can build up on window sills and floors where children often put their hands, mouths and toys.
For young children, lead poisoning can cause very serious and long-term health effects like behavior problems, learning disabilities, speech and language delays and lower intelligence. Often there are no signs or symptoms of illness that can alert a parent to a problem.
“Many parents and property owners in our community are unaware of the issues around lead. That’s why this lead poisoning prevention contract is so important, because it gives us at the local level the resources we need to help our community keep our kids safe from the dangers of lead paint,” concluded Joan Affonso, Youth Coordinator for Strategies for a Stronger Sanford.
Anyone interested in lead poisoning prevention services available inYorkCounty, including free lead dust testing for rental units, can call 207-490-7033 ext. 309 or go to www.healthyyorkcounty.com for more information.
About the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund
In 2005, the 122nd Maine Legislature established the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund (LPPF or 22 MRSA c.252 §1322-E). Revenue for the LPPF comes from a $0.25 per gallon fee imposed on manufacturers or wholesalers of paint sold inMaine. The LPPF was established to provide resources to support lead poisoning prevention education, outreach and training programs. The Fund has been awarding contracts to community organizations for lead poisoning prevention activities since 2009, for a total of $893,250. In the coming years, the Fund will continue its work to eliminate lead poisoning through community contracts and other prevention strategies, and will complete a comprehensive evaluation of its activities. For more information: maine.gov/healthyhomes.