Sending Office: Honorable Gwen Moore
DEADLINE: March 25, 2019
There is no known safe level of lead in children. Even exposure to low levels of lead can affect a child’s growth and development and have significant long term consequences on development.
Lead poisoning remains a national health concern that is challenging communities throughout our nation that struggling with both aging house and water infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of children aged one to five years old in the U.S. are estimated
to have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
It is critical that we invest in the federal programs that help prevent lead poisoning, support the testing and referral for follow up care of children with high blood lead levels, and promote healthy housing. Please join us in urging FY 2020 funding of at
least $38 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program and $279 million for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. The text of the
letter is below.
Please contact Chris Goldson ( firstname.lastname@example.org) in Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s office with any questions or to cosign the letter. The deadline to sign onto this letter is COB, March 25, 2019.
Gwen S. Moore John Katko
Member of Congress MEMBER OF CONGRESS
March XX, 2019
Dear Chairman Price, Chairwoman DeLauro, Ranking Member Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Cole ,
As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related Agencies and the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bills, we urge to you continue to strongly fund federal efforts to
prevent and respond to childhood lead poisoning, including providing at least $38 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention programs and $279 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s
(HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. Of the amount provided to HUD, at least $45 million should be for the Healthy Homes Program and $6 million for Lead Technical Studies Grant program. We applaud your past support for these programs and
urge you to continue it in FY 2020.
The CDC notes that some 535,000 children aged one to five years old in the U.S. have blood levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. Lead in older homes remains a persistent
problem and leading source of exposure in many communities. It is estimated that there are over 37 million homes with lead paint in our nation and over 10 million with lead pipes.
A sustained substantial commitment to federal lead prevention and mitigation efforts is necessary if this country is to make any serious progress in protecting our nation’s children and communities from lead poisoning. Both HUD and CDC play critical roles
in preventing, identifying, and responding to lead contamination in our communities. These programs are critical to ensuring that children grow up healthy and safe.
Wise investments in these programs can help avoid significant costs that is inflicted on children, their families, and our communities. According to a report from the Health Impact Project, lead poisoned children are more likely to struggle in school,
drop out, get into trouble with the law, underperform in the workplace, and earn less throughout their lives, independent of other social and economic factors. The annual costs of lead poisoning have been estimated at over $50 billion, costs which are avoidable
since lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Conversely, the economic benefit of lowering lead levels among children by preventing lead exposure has been estimated at $213 billion per year.
A robust federal government investments in proven programs remains a critical part of ensuring a lead free future for children in our country. Primary prevention—the removal of lead hazards from the environment before a child is exposed—is the most effective
way to ensure that children do not experience the harmful effects of lead exposure. Blood lead screening tests and secondary prevention also remain an essential safety net for children who may be exposed to lead.
Properly funding the lead poisoning prevention programs and HUD and CDC is a cost-effective way to keep children healthy and save tens of billions in lead poisoning-related medical, educational, and legal costs. CDC’s program works to strengthen blood lead
surveillance by supporting state and local programs to improve blood lead screening test rates, identify high-risk populations, and ensure effective follow-up for children with elevated blood lead levels. However, over the last decade, funding instability
and cuts has hurt the programs ability to support our local and state partners. Recent support from the Subcommittee has returned the program to nearly the average funding that it received between 2002 and 2012. However, additional funding is needed to account
for inflation and ensure that all states can participate in and benefit from this program.
HUD has rigorously evaluated the effectiveness of its programs, determining them effective in both the pure outcome measure (i.e.,reducing children’s blood lead levels), and the long-term effectiveness of the hazard controls.3 The programs offer high returns
for children’s reduced healthcare costs and later increased work productivity, i.e., $17–$221 per dollar controlling lead paint hazards.
The efforts at HUD and CDC are critical to ensuring children across our country and grow up health and safe. Thank you for your continued support of lead poisoning prevention and healthy housing. We greatly appreciate your leadership and consideration
of this request.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0