Cleveland Museum of Natural History Forum Addresses Lead

On Sept. 1, the AMCNO staff and president were pleased to attend the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s (CMNH) public forum titled, “Taking the Lead on Lead.” The purpose of the event was to inform the community about the dangers of lead poisoning and its effects on children. A resource fair was held prior to the speaker presentations to inform attendees of the resources that are available to help prevent or assist with lead issues.

This program was planned with the assistance of the CMNH Health Advisory Committee, which includes two AMCNO physician representatives.

The speakers’ forum was moderated by Dr. Dorr Dearborn, Chair Emeritus, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is considered to be an expert in lead poisoning and prevention in Cleveland.

Terry Allan, Health Commissioner for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, was the first speaker. His presentation focused on “Data Matters: Childhood Lead Poisoning in our Community.” The objectives were to define the scope of lead poisoning, review relevant data on the progress being made to decrease exposure, and describe where our community stands against national data.

The next speaker was Merle Gordon, Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health. For more than 20 years, Cleveland has been providing services to help make sure homes are lead-free, she said. There are costs involved, however, with these services and money offered through grants only goes so far. More funds allocated for lead detection and the safe removal of it are needed, she said.

Following Gordon was a presentation by Dr. Mary Jean Brown, Director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention, National Center of Environmental Health, CDC. She has worked on lead issues for 30 years and has found that housing has a significant impact on blood lead levels, making her a strong advocate for healthy housing. She also discussed the adverse effects of lead exposure and what can be done to decrease a child’s exposure to lead.  

At the conclusion of Dr. Brown’s presentation, Dr. Dearborn invited all of the speakers on stage to field audience questions.  

The AMCNO will continue to provide additional information on this issue to our members.

 



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