Lead Poisoning Today:
CLEARCorps’ Work is Focused Where It’s Needed Most
Lead poisoning prevention has been correctly characterized as a U.S. public health success story due to the rapid and sustained decreases in the number of children affected by lead. Even at blood lead levels currently seen in the United States, childhood lead exposure, remains a critical public health issue.
—Educational Interventions for Children Affected by Lead, April 2015
According to Sue Gunderson, Executive Director, CLEARCorps (CCUSA), “The recent heightened media attention — as well as the sudden interest of U.S. politicians and presidential candidates — on the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, has caused a swell in requests for information on how to prevent lead poisoning.”
Gunderson is primarily focused on correcting facts and clarifying different solutions being addressed in the media. She added that CCUSA has a unique ability to correct facts or misinterpretations on the findings in lead data research.
“We’ve been called upon to provide leadership, direct service, and technical assistance to parties who want to hear accurate information because lead poisoning still exists,” says Gunderson.
It’s estimated that tens of millions of U.S. children have been adversely affected by lead over the last 20 years, and these effects can be lifelong.
CCUSA Program Moving Forward
CCUSA has a fifteen-year history of providing direct services, supporting educational outreach, and creating system change in partnership with many government agencies, medical community members, and nonprofit colleagues to prevent childhood lead poisoning in Minnesota.
CCUSA program staff:
- conduct 1500 lead tests of at-risk children age six and under, and pregnant women per year
- complete over 500 home visits per year, and conducts numerous community events to reach at-risk families to educate them on lead poisoning and how they can create healthy homes
- operate as a full service advocacy program with many partnering agencies
- designed a mobile lead testing program, in 2010, and takes it to the Mexican Consulate, churches, soccer games, mosques, and food shelves to test children and provide information to parents on how to protect their children from lead
- help families resolve immediate housing needs
- advocate for families with various service providers and regularly meets with them until these families are living in lead-free houses
Though lead poisoning recovery is a public health success story, CLEARCorps continues to be an advocate for lead poisoning recovery in communities all over the U.S. Currently, CCUSA is seeking additional funds to help return families to safe, livable homes.