Monday, July 24, 2017

Maryland agencies band together for lead poisoning initiative

Maryland officials have applied to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create an initiative to reduce lead poisoning and improve asthma, which contributes to environmental conditions in housing, the Maryland Department of the Environment said in a news release.

The Department of the Environment is partnering with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Housing and Community Development in the effort.

“We know that housing conditions can severely affect a child’s health, and this program would enable us to get to the root of the problems for many children,” Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader said in the release. “It would go beyond merely treating a child with asthma or lead poisoning – it would seek to prevent exposures to the triggers, causes and social determinants of these conditions, which is the best means of preventing the life-long impacts of these diseases.”

The proposed program would be a partnership between Health and Mental Hygiene and Housing and Community Development to expand lead identification and abatement programs, the Maryland Department of the Environment said.

The program also would "expand local health departments’ programs that help families and health care providers to identify and to eliminate sources of lead exposures and asthma triggers in homes,” Maryland Department of the Environment said.

Both aspects of the programs would work together with the Department of the Environment’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

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