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Mayor Brown and BPS Superintendent Cash Send Critical Lead Poisioning Preve
Mayor Brown and BPS Superintendent Cash Send Critical Lead Poisoning Prevention Information
More than 18,000 lead information flyers, in seven languages will be mailed to all Buffalo Public Schools families this week
BUFFALO – Mayor Byron W. Brown joined with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash today announced the mailing of more than 18,000 lead poisoning prevention flyers to parents of all BPS students. The flyers, in the District’s top seven languages, are part of an initiative unveiled in late October, at the heart of which is a comprehensive lead danger communications effort.
“This important message is purposely directed to families because infants, children under the age of 6, and pregnant women are most at-risk for harm from lead exposure. Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable, but once poisoning occurs, there is no way to reverse the physical damage,” Mayor Brown said.
“Buffalo Public Schools families, especially those with very young children, including babies and youngsters who have yet to start school, are our target audience. The earlier we can educate them about the dangers of lead and how exposure takes place, the less there is a chance of lead poisoning,” Dr. Cash said.
The Buffalo Public Schools plans to host free lead blood testing clinics at schools located in neighborhoods with historically high lead poisoning levels in the coming months.
By the end of the year, some 100,000 lead education flyers will have been distributed through Buffalo Public Schools, City of Buffalo Community Centers, Citizen Services, Youth Services and dozens of community organizations. The flyers, which are available in English, Spanish, Burmese, Somali, Karen, Nepali and Arabic, are also posted on the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Public Schools websites.
The City and Buffalo Public Schools worked jointly to create the translations, with the BPS generously providing translation services for the Burmese, Somali, Karen, Nepali and Arabic versions through its multi-lingual staff.
“Through the City’s Office of New Americans we have, and will continue to reach out to Buffalo’s burgeoning refugee and immigrant population. Many of these new residents live in very low cost housing, much of which is older housing stock, which is most likely to have lead-based paint issue,” Mayor Brown said.
“The flyers we’re sending out are precisely targeted to families in their native languages so we can reach as many people as possible in a format they understand,” Dr. Cash said.
The flyers answer basic questions about lead exposure including:
- What are the physical effects of lead poisoning?
- How do children and pregnant women get poisoned?
- How to prevent exposure to lead?
- How can you tell if you or your children are lead poisoned?
This fall the new lead communications initiative was unveiled, an effort which includes the new lead flyers, and a billboard and bus advertisement campaign. The City of Buffalo/Regional lead poisoning awareness effort is the fruit of an on-going collaboration between the City, Erie County, Buffalo Public Schools and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.
The new Wipe Out Lead campaign features 28 billboards located across the City of Buffalo, along with companion messaging on 120 NFTA buses. The majority of the billboards are located in the City’s 14211, 14213 and 14215 zip codes, neighborhoods where the highest incidence of elevated blood lead levels have been documented.
The billboards and flyers direct Buffalo residents who have concerns about lead in their homes to call the City’s 311 hotline. In July, a dedicated lead line was added to the 311 Hotline for reporting lead concerns. Calls involving lead-based paint are passed along to the City’s Office of Permit and Inspections Services to schedule an inspection, while those requesting water tests go to the Buffalo Water Department to set up that process.