NH CAN Action Step Proposal by Ax2YAZF


									                              2007 Priorities for New Hampshire's Children
                                   2007 Action Step Fact Sheets

I.       Headline
         Protect our children’s future: support policies that prevent lead poisoning.

II.      Issue Overview
         Home should be a safe place. But the remains of lead paint, banned decades ago in this
         country, make many New Hampshire homes dangerous places for children. As lead
         paint breaks down it turns into lead-contaminated dust that can collect on floors, in
         window wells and in the soil around the outside of buildings. A child exposed to this dust
         may have no symptoms for months or years, while lead silently harms his intellectual
         development – his speech and hearing, his learning and memory [1]. Developing
         children are extremely vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, but the effects can be life-
         long. Lead-exposed children are more likely to drop out of school, to require special
         education, to use a wide range of social services and to get into trouble with the law [2].

         Though lead poisoning has declined nationwide since the federal government restricted
         the use of lead, the poison still lurks in communities where old housing predominates.
         New Hampshire has some of the oldest housing in the nation. Almost 40 percent of the
         state’s rental housing and 28 percent of owner-occupied housing was built before 1950,
         when paint contained the highest proportion of lead [3].

         Our legacy of lead affects future generations. An estimated 10,530 New Hampshire
         school children have been exposed to enough lead to do permanent damage to their
         intellectual capacity — that is enough children to fill 46 school buses. [4]. The
         consequences for New Hampshire communities reach across the health and housing
         sectors to education, the judicial system and the economy.

III.     Proposed Solution
         Fortunately, lead poisoning is a problem we can solve. We know the source of the
         poison. We know how to get rid of it. According to the National Center for Healthy
         Housing, rules and regulations have proven necessary to encourage people to control
         lead hazards [5]. Public policies that are effective in preventing lead poisoning are those
         that emphasize prevention — identifying and controlling lead hazards before children are
         harmed. But under New Hampshire’s current lead law — RSA 130-A — there must be
         evidence of lead in a child’s body before action can be taken to prompt repairs of
         housing with dangerous amounts of lead. We need to change the policies that use
         children as lead detectors. Together we can insist that our public policies emphasize
         prevention of lead poisoning.

         Lead is a complex issue; workable solutions can only come through a coordinated,
         collaborative effort. We need to join our neighbors in exploring fair, practical
         mechanisms and incentives to tackle lead poisoning in New Hampshire, such as low-
         interest loans or grants for owners of older housing, and training in lead-safe renovation
         for homeowners. These efforts need to recognize that although we have effective
         methods to prevent and control lead, unaffordable strategies protect no one.

                            New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network
                          NH CAN Coordinator: Destie Hohman Sprague
       2 Greenwood Avenue  Concord, NH 03301  603- 225-2264  dsprague@childrennh.org
IV.     Call to Action
        Lead poisoning is preventable. Each of us has a stake in ensuring the safety of future
        generations of New Hampshire children, and each of us has a role to play. For example:
                 Ask your local legislator to advocate for public policies that protect children
                   from lead hazards.
                 Help spread the word about the risk of lead in your community.
                 Support the creation of a statewide lead coalition focused on fair, workable
                   solutions that recognize the unique needs of owners of older housing.
                 Monitor the Children’s Alliance legislative action center
                   <http://www.childrennh.org/capwiz.php> for updates that provide
                   opportunities for your support of policy change initiatives.

V.      Find out More

        Contacts: Nancy Serrell, Director of Outreach and Translation,
        (Nancy.Serrell@dartmouth.edu), or Bethany Fleishman, Outreach Assistant,
        (Bethany.Fleishman@dartmouth.edu) at the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program.

        Website: The National Center for Healthy Housing

VI.      References
        1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1991. Preventing lead poisoning in
           young children: a statement by the Centers for Disease Control. Atlanta, GA: Centers
           for Disease Control and Prevention.

        2. National Safety Council. 2004. “Lead Poisoning” (online fact sheet).

        3. New Hampshire Childhood Lead Poisoning Screening and Management Guidelines.
           April 2005 (revised). New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services,
           Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Concord, NH.

        4. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES)

        5. The National Center for Health Housing, “Federal, State, and Local Rules,
           Regulations and Policies,” http://www.centerforhealthyhousing.org/html/regs.html

                           New Hampshire Child Advocacy Network
                         NH CAN Coordinator: Destie Hohman Sprague
      2 Greenwood Avenue  Concord, NH 03301  603- 225-2264  dsprague@childrennh.org

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