WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Ohio Department of Health to help reduce lead exposure and the number of children with elevated blood lead levels (BLL) across Ohio.
“Too many children in Ohio are being poisoned by their own homes, and too many Ohio families learn that their children have been exposed to toxic levels of lead only after they begin to experience symptoms,” said Brown. “We need to make sure that communities in Ohio have the resources necessary to prevent lead poisoning, and that all children in Ohio have access to the necessary resources to diagnose lead poisoning as early as possible and ensure appropriate follow-up care.”
Every year, Brown joins his colleagues to encourage robust funding for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill.
In June, Brown led bipartisan legislation with Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to ensure children enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are tested for lead poisoning at the appropriate ages. Early detection helps ensure children with lead exposure receive the care they need to treat any adverse effects. Testing can also help identify lead hazards that pose serious health and safety threats to children and could cause irreversible and long-term health, neurological, and behavioral damage.
In October 2019, Brown (D-OH) led a group of Democrats in urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to do more to address prevention, screening and treatment of children affected by lead exposure. In a letter to then-CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Brown and his colleagues demanded an update on the steps CMS will take to address demonstrated gaps in data pertaining to blood lead level screenings and urged CMS to renew its commitment to ensuring appropriate lead screening for children at risk of lead exposure.