Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response • Have you downloaded COVIDWISE, Virginia's COVID-19 exposure notification app? Add your phone to the fight here. For up-to-date information, assistance, and resources from across state government, click here.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week


WHEREAS, 867 children in Virginia, ages 15 and younger, had elevated blood lead levels in 2018; and

WHEREAS, lead poisoning occurs when lead enters the bloodstream and builds up to toxic levels; and

WHEREAS, the exposure of children to lead can result from multiple sources and can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems; and

WHEREAS, lead is especially dangerous to children under the age of 6; and

WHEREAS, lead poisoning is preventable, and the key is to keep children from coming into contact with lead; and

WHEREAS, there are simple steps that can be taken to protect all family members from lead based-paint hazards in the home; and

WHEREAS, lead exposure from aging and degraded infrastructure disproportionately and inequitably affects minority and low-income populations, particularly in aging and historical communities, and should be examined as an environmental justice concern; and

WHEREAS, a blood test for lead levels is required for every Medicaid-eligible child as part of the 12- and 24-month Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment screenings; and such test also is administered to any child between the ages of 36 and 72 months old who has not been previously screened; and

WHEREAS, education and awareness about the dangers of lead can help protect the lives of children living in Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 20-26, 2019, as NATIONAL LEAD POISONING PREVENTION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.