Fighting Dinosaurs? Lead Poisoning and Urban Redevelopment

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 14:07.

Cleveland Natural History Museum

If these are average Clevelanders, living in older urban neighborhoods like around University Circle their entire lives, they have been lead poisoned, perhaps severely. Thursday morning, May 22nd, join 100s of NEOs leaders concerned with our community's health, intelligence, safety and economy meeting at the Cleveland Natural History Museum for a free breakfast, keynote discussion and breakout sessions about lead poisoning and urban redevelopment. I guarantee you will leave this brief event with a completely realigned understanding of the core barriers to the success of our urban neighborhoods, leading to better planning for a healthy, effective region in the future.

 Cleveland Natural History Museum

Because Cleveland and its older surrounding neighborhoods grew very large before the late 1970s, when lead contamination peaked in America and lead paint and lead in gasoline was outlawed, a very high proportion of our housing stock and land area is impacted by lead, which will continue to poison children and adults until we plan its eradication.

Over the past century, and continuing today, poisoning from lead in gasoline and paint has caused permanent mental and physical health concerns and impacted the ability to succeed with education and in life for 1,000,000s of past and present greater Clevelanders. Based on 2004 data, 42% of Cleveland and 34% of Cuyahoga County children were lead poisoned, making this one of the most lead poisoned regions in America. And most impoverished. With worst performing schools. And high levels of violent crime. Are you starting to get the picture, the redevelopment of the NEO economy begins with lead eradication, with the next step being this annual meeting, which you are invited to attend.
The Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) was formed in 2004 to eradicate lead poisoning throughout our region, as quickly and in every way as is possible. One way is to make sure everyone involved in planning and redeveloping lead poisoned areas make the right plans to help eradicate lead poisoning, including in deciding what to save and demolish and how. Such region-critical concerns are the subject of the third GCLAC Annual Meeting, Lead Poisoning and Urban Redevelopment: Challenges and Affordable Solutions

The keynote speaker is David E. Jacobs, PhD, CIH, Director of Research, National Center for Healthy Housing - a world expert who will elevate the discussion of lead poisoning to the strategic level. The timing of this free, educational event coincides with the release of new EPA guidelines for how lead must be addressed during renovation of older property, which will be discussed during a breakout session on Lead Safe Renovation: Rules & New Technology for Preserving Cleveland’s Housing Stock. Another breakout session focuses on Integrating Lead Hazard Control with Healthy and Green Housing, and the third focuses on Urban Planning for Lead Burdened Communities, and will include a panel discussion featuring our keynote speaker. An expected outcome of this session is adding lead poisoning data to major GIS mapping systems used in local community planning.

All citizens are welcome and encouraged to attend this annual meeting, and all GCLAC meetings. Registration closes Friday, May 15, so please register NOW.

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