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We Are Partnering to Take Action to Protect Children From Lead Poisoning

March 4, 2024

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is invisible to the naked eye. Children younger than 6 years are at highest risk of serious harms from lead poisoning since their bodies are small and still developing.

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, kidney and liver damage, hearing and speech problems, and reduced bone growth. Even low levels of exposure to lead can cause lifelong learning disabilities, developmental delays, and behavioral issues.

In February we hosted a 2-day Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Summit in Guam with environmental health professionals from the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands to talk more about regional lead poisoning risks, gaps, and testing challenges.

During the summit we discussed steps to identify the funding and resources required to provide lead poisoning prevention programming in the region as well as opportunities to collaborate across the area, such as using a shared laboratory for testing.

We were also honored to join environmental health staff in Saipan and present the chief population officer of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands with a lead detection device known as an XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy).

The summit and XRF device were made possible through our partnership and collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health.

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About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) represents more than 7,000 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental public health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession’s strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.