Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Prevent children from getting brain and kidney damage from dangerous lead poisoning
Currently at least half a million U.S. children between the ages of one and five have lead poisoning. High levels of lead in the blood can cause lasting health effects including brain and kidney damage. Budget cuts implemented last year inhibit organizations from preventing and treating lead-poisoning — urge Congress to increase funding for these organizations as soon as possible.
As a result of the Center for Disease Control lowering the level of blood poisoning that requires public health intervention, the number of children diagnosed with lead poisoning has doubled from 250,000 to 500,000. Around the same time, Congress cut the CDC’s lead program budget from $29 million to $2 million. As a result of this drastic cut, the health departments that doctors often refer patients with lead poisoning to were forced to shut down. This lack of funding has made it extremely difficult to both research and treat lead poisoning.
Since doctors and researchers have no viable funding to help them treat or prevent lead poisoning, children continue to suffer. Drops in IQ and rapidly deteriorating health may inhibit future generations from finding the success that is necessary to survive in a global economy. Even more immediate is the correlation between socioeconomic status and the incidence of lead poisoning in children. Statistics show that far more economically disadvantaged children have lead poisoning. This is partially because the buildings that they live are often built of materials from which dangerous lead erodes. Not only are they more likely to be poisoned, but are also less able to afford treatment. Increasing funding for research regarding lead poisoning treatment and prevention would allow scientists to find more affordable ways to take care of poisoned or at-risk children.
Congressman Jack Kingston is the Chairman Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which holds the most sway on subjects such as CDC funding. Urge him to increase funding for the CDC so that lead poisoning can be prevented and treated.
Dear Congressman Jack Kingston,
Half a million American children between the ages one and five have lead poisoning, which can cause severe health problems such as damage to the brain and deterioration of the kidneys. Right now, there is little to no funding for organizations that help prevent, treat, or research lead poisoning.
Because of this, important programs such as the “Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program” have come to a halt. These programs help identify and prevent high risk health scenarios — particularly lead poisoning. This program had a major part in reducing the number of children with dangerously high blood lead levels, saving at least $7.5 billion in lifetime productivity. More funding for lead poisoning treatment and prevention measures will also save children from developing debilitating mental illnesses or organ damage. Please increase funding for the CDC as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joel Mabel via Wikimedia Commons