We can protect healthy brain development by getting lead out of children’s lives.
Every year, state officials find more than 1,500 children in North Carolina with unacceptable levels of lead in their bodies. Kids have a harder time succeeding in school and in life, when their development is held back by unnecessary exposure to lead and other toxics that attack the brain.
In North Carolina, public health officials have been working for more than 30 years to eliminate childhood lead poisoning – and we are getting close to the finish line! Looking at the population as a whole, children’s blood lead levels have dropped dramatically.
Unfortunately, pockets of high levels of exposure remain – often in lower-income neighborhoods where older housing and buildings mean that old lead paint and lead pipes are still in use. That means Black and brown children are often the most likely to be harmed by lead in their air, water, and house dust.
NC Child has a goal to end childhood lead poisoning in North Carolina within 10 years, preventing unnecessary pain and suffering, and saving taxpayers an estimated $17M-$200M per year in health care, special education and juvenile justice costs.
To achieve this goal, NC Child launched Lead Free NC, a statewide campaign focused on getting the lead out of the places where children and pregnant women depend on a safe environment.
We’re working on a new state proposal that would help licensed child care centers get lead out of their water. The best news: Testing will be FREE thanks to new funding from the US EPA.
Resources and Helpful Links
NC Division of Public Health – Children’s Environmental Health Unit
Healthy Babies Bright Futures – get your water tested for lead
Infographics – Protect yourself from lead during pregnancy