“There is no safe level of lead in the blood and no effective treatments exist to restore the permanent developmental deficits of lead poisoning…Thousands of Ohio children under 6 have been poisoned by lead and continue to be exposed to lead hazards.” Below are Schubert Center policy efforts at the state and local levels, information on research being conducted by faculty at CWRU, updates on current state and local efforts, and resources for making Ohio a lead-free home for children.

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Ohio Children’s Budget – Issue Brief on Lead

“There is no safe level of lead in the blood and no effective treatments exist to restore the permanent developmental deficits of lead poisoning…Thousands of Ohio children under 6 have been poisoned by lead and continue to be exposed to lead hazards.” Policy Director Gabriella Celeste co-authored the Lead Issue Brief for the Ohio Children’s Budget. The full issue brief can be read here. To read all Issue briefs for the Ohio Children’s Budget, visit https://ohiochildrensbudget.org/.

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Robert Fischer, co-director of the center, chair of the Master of Nonprofit Organizations program and associate professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

April 2019 – Case Western Reserve study to focus on lead paint poisoning correlation to juvenile delinquency

ABC News 5 Cleveland: Robert L. Fischer, co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, discussed efforts to determine if there is a link between lead exposure and juvenile delinquency.

January 2019 – Studies: Elevated blood lead level in early childhood associated with increased risk of academic problems in school-aged children

“Substantial numbers of Cleveland’s youngest students have had elevated levels of lead in their blood prior to kindergarten and these children have a higher risk of academic issues, according to two new studies at Case Western Reserve University, led by Robert Fischer, associate professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.”

January 2019 – High-quality pre-K doesn’t get most lead-poisoned children ready for kindergarten

“Looking at children who attended high quality preschool for at least 18 months (a “high dose”) among more than 35,000 Cleveland and 11 inner-ring suburban kindergartners, the researchers found that children with a history of lead exposure above the threshold of concern set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were half as likely as their peers to score “on track” in language and literacy when they reach kindergarten.”

January 2019 – ‘An uphill battle’: Lead poisoning stunts students’ learning while Cleveland leaders fail to tackle lingering problem

The Plain Dealer: A study conducted by the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development found that 93.5 percent of Cleveland kindergartners screened had been exposed to lead, said Robert Fischer, co-director of the center, chair of the Master of Nonprofit Organizations program and associate professor.

February 2019 – Awaiting the Lead-Poisoning Tipping Point

Rolling Stone: Robert Fischer, associate professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, spoke about two studies from CWRU that examine the extent of lead poisoning in Cleveland.

Marilyn (Lynn) Lotas, Associate Professor, Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Comparison and Evaluation of Two Models of Follow-up with the Families of Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels

Pilot project to compare two models of follow-up (1. Telephone follow-up by experienced pediatric nurses; 2) Follow-up by Navigation teams consisting of one health professional graduate students and at least one established community member) with families of children with confirmed elevated blood lead levels on overall effectiveness of the intervention, time effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Cleveland Schools Lead Screening Project

The Partners in Health Lead Screening project will provide lead testing and follow-up services for children in the Pre-K and Kindergarten programs of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Ohio Legislative Children’s Caucus

November 2019 – Policy Director, Gabrielle Celeste participated in a panel on lead prevention with the Ohio Children’s Caucus. A live stream of the meeting is available here.

May 2019 – Senator Lehner hosts Inaugural Ohio Legislative Children’s Caucus Meeting and establishes their purpose: to improve the effectiveness and reach of policy designed to positively impact children from birth to age eighteen.

April 2019 – Senator Lehner announces creation of Ohio Children’s Caucus to prioritize Ohio’s kids by focusing public policy and state funding to support proven strategies and identify innovative solutions to support Ohio’s kids.

Ohio Lead Advisory Committee

October 2019 – Governor Mike DeWine and Lead Advisory Committee held lead-based events in Cleveland and Toledo. In Cleveland, they visited Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and heard from the Cleveland Lead Coalition on their plans to disseminate their state and federal resources to address lead poisoning.

September 2019 – Governor Mike DeWine announced the Creation of the Ohio Lead Advisory Committee. The committee will focus on prevention, abatement, remediation and treatment. Ohio Lead-Free Kids Coalition (OLFKC) Co-Chair Patricia Barnes joins a number of multidisciplinary members, including several partners from the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, to serve on this committee and develop recommendations for state action. The OLFKC will continue to work for a comprehensive state plan for prevention of child lead poisoning, as well as effective implementation of the state budget lead investments.

Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition

November 2019 – Local foundations commit $8.1 million to the Lead Safe Home Fund and Resource Center. Read about more other ways the city is committing to lead poisoning prevention. 

July 2019 – Cleveland City Council passed legislation aimed at significantly reducing the number of children being poisoned by lead. Read more about what this local ordinance requires of landlords.

June 2019 – Steering Committee for Lead Safe Cleveland includes Faculty Associate, Robert Fischer (Chair of Research and Evaluation Committee), and Policy Director, Gabriella Celeste. Read Mt. Sinai’s press release for the steering committee.

May 2019 – Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition submitted policy recommendations to Cleveland City Council to help make Cleveland lead safe. Read more about the policy recommendations.

January 2019 – Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition announced by Mayor Frank Jackson to address lead poisoning locally. The Coalition’s five-point action plan and list of partners and collaborators can be found here.

Early Intervention Rule 

March 2019 – Children in Ohio now face fewer obstacles in getting state services for early intervention, thanks to a new rule. The Department of Developmental Disabilities now automatically includes children with elevated blood lead levels.  More information on the supports provided by the Early Intervention Services is available here.

Early Intervention

Ohio early intervention is a statewide system that provides coordinated services to parents of young children with disabilities and developmental delays.

Concerned about a lead-poisoned child’s development? Call 1-800-755-4769 or submit a referral.

Ohio Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Ohio Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OHHLPPP) addresses the needs of lead-poisoned children from birth through 6 years (72 months) of age. The program assists family members, medical care providers and other community members to reduce and prevent lead poisoning. OHHLPPP recognizes that children under the age of 3 years (36 months) are at greatest risk for lead poisoning.

Prevention and Lead Testing

Most children with lead poisoning do not show signs and symptoms right away. The only reliable way to know if your child has been exposed to lead is to get them tested.

There are steps to prevent your child from being exposed to lead in your home/environment and to reduce lead through a healthy diet. Download a resource from Ohio Department of Health for more information.

Cleveland Schools Lead Screening Project

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University has created the Partners in Health Lead Screening Project to screen children in the Cleveland City Schools for exposure to lead poisoning. The Partners in Health Lead Screening project will provide lead testing and follow-up services for children in the Pre-K and Kindergarten programs of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. More about the project.

Home Testing and Removal

Is your child Medicaid eligible and under 19 years of age?

Are you pregnant and Medicaid eligible?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may qualify for FREE home testing and lead paint hazard removal. Call 1-877-532-3723.

National Center for Healthy Housing

Ohio Healthy Homes Network