October 2023: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
Journal of Environmental Health
Volume 86, Number 3
Editor's Note: The National Environmental Health Association strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.
In these columns, authors from the CDC Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share tools, resources, and guidance for environmental health practitioners. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Educating Communities, Families, and High School Students About Lead Exposure as a Public Health Problem
Tanya Telfair LeBlanc, PhD, Lead Poisoning Prevention and Environmental Health Tracking Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Perri Ruckart, DrPH, Lead Poisoning Prevention and Environmental Health Tracking Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Shannon Omisore, MA, Lead Poisoning Prevention and Environmental Health Tracking Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
One major public health achievement in the U.S. is lead exposure reduction among children but many remain at risk. Though lead was banned in house paint in 1978 and in gasoline for on-road vehicles in 1996, additional routes of exposure have been identified. Increasing lead use in industries and the expansion of global trade have opened additional exposure routes. Lead exposure is still a public health threat with long-term consequences for children, families, and society—but it may be under-recognized.
CDC, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, developed two community lead exposure prevention education videos. These videos provide brief overviews of what lead is, where it is found, and why it is important to protect young children from exposure. One video was created for high school students and the other video is designed for parents, teachers, and people employed in many occupations that would benefit from this information, including real estate agents, plumbers, construction workers, and others. This month’s article highlights these videos and emphasizes that knowledge and awareness are essential to the prevention of lead exposure.