Lead Poisoning Awareness Grant
The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning met with city representatives Wednesday to announce a $65,000 grant from the City of Rochester that will support lead poisoning education and awareness.
In 2011, the Coalition partnered with different medical agencies to provide regularly scheduled lead tests for children. While screening results show a decline in lead poisonings, physicians say many children are still not being tested and in many cases, are being misdiagnosed.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
"The damages that are done are irreversible and we have to keep that in mind."
The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning used some of its recently awarded grant money to release an educational video detailing the damage caused by lead exposure.
"What's been increasingly discovered every decade is the level of lead that is safe is way less than we ever thought," said Dr. Richard Kennedy.
Kennedy, a family physician at Jordan Health Center, says in 2011, 222 kids in Monroe County were reported with blood lead levels of 10, an 81% reduction since 2001 which reported 1,200 cases.
"But that is without not complete screening; only about 60-70% of kids are getting fully screened so there are probably more that have not been identified."
While these results are encouraging, recently the Centers for Disease Control reported for the first time that no level of lead is safe. New York State Law requires doctors test children at 12 and 24 months old.
"If they have health insurance it's covered, if they have Medicaid it's covered."
Homes built before 1978 have the most lead paint. The grant will fund programs that provide low-income families with cost effective options to renovate their home.
Dr. Kennedy said he has treated many children who have been misdiagnosed with disorders like ADHD which present similar symptoms to lead poisoning. Screening and prevention are key.