Eliminate Lead Poisoning in the United States

We write to urge the Green Party to add this to your platform: “Eliminate lead poisoning in the United States”

In the wake of the Flint lead water crisis and increased national will to address the problem, we need to act to eliminate lead poisoning. We urge the Green Party to adopt a simple yet comprehensive approach: find lead hazards, eliminate them, and provide critical public investments and incentives to the private sector to invest in the effort. Some key policy components needed to find lead hazards, fix them and serve children impacted by lead are listed here:

• Find: Locate home health hazards in communities across the country by promoting surveillance using validated measurement and sampling methods; improve risk assessments in public and federally-assisted housing; incentivize disclosure of hazards in private sector housing; add healthy housing questions to the U.S. census; and disclose home health hazard data through GIS mapping and distribute it to key audiences including consumers and local, state, and national policymakers.

• Fix: Plan and take both short and long range actions to protect residents’ health, including the following: establish a cabinet-level interagency healthy housing task force to develop and oversee implementation of a healthy housing national plan; implement immediate, proven measures to control hazards and long-term strategies to abate them; update regulations using the most recent science; and increase key public health activities including consumer education and outreach, surveillance of illnesses and injuries caused by home health hazards, and home-based follow-up services for impacted residents.

• Fund: Stop the disinvestment in communities and residents, including the following: fully fund services for low-income Americans to both find and fix home health hazards; provide grants, tax credits, loan programs, and incentives to address health hazards in private sector housing; increase surveillance and remediation of hazards in publicly assisted housing; and expand both public and private sector health care reimbursement for home-based health services addressing hazards and protecting residents from them.

For further background information supporting this position, see http://www.nchh.org//Portals/0/Contents/Find-It-Fix-It-Fund-It.pdf

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