Immediate Release

Monday, October 22, 2007 

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Picente: Cornhill Meeting, Outreach Efforts Highlight National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Activities


Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced that the Oneida County Health Department will build upon its extensive outreach activities with an intensive outreach to schools and the Cornhill community during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Oct. 22- Oct. 27.

He noted that a major outreach event to the Cornhill Community will be held on Thursday, October 25th, from 7: 30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cosmopolitan Center 1430 Elm St.

“The Health Department is out every week working to help educate families, children, landlords and the wider community about recognizing the dangers of lead, and working with families to conduct extensive testing for exposure to lead,” Picente said. “On this particular week, because it is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, we are talking those efforts up a notch to be in as many places as possible to spread the word about our new project and to remind everyone about the dangers of lead exposure.”

Last week, Picente announced that Oneida County had been selected to receive a state grant that will allow the Health Department to take its strongest action to date to prevent exposure to lead among children under the age of six. “Our new project will increase our ability to be out in the community and take pro-active intervention that can help the children and families who live in older housing where there is a risk of exposure to lead,” Picente said. “All of the activities taking place this week will set the stage for a more intensive involvement with the community and for even greater partnerships with City of Utica agencies so that we can take stronger steps to protect children and families.”

 Picente encouraged Cornhill residents to attend the Thursday evening event. “We have a lot of information to share with adults, and there is a puppet show for kids that teaches them some important lessons about lead while also keeping them entertained,” he said. “The community forum on lead is an excellent way for us to get the word out about what we are doing, what families can do, and what the community can do.”

Oneida County Legislator William Hendricks said the Thursday event is an important step in the ongoing fight against lead poisoning. “The critical thing in fighting lead poisoning is to be informed about lead and to understand the safe ways to go about home repairs to avoid creating health concerns. The community has said that the information is needed, and we are bringing the information to the community. Adults and children can both learn a lot from this event, and I encourage everyone who lives in the older homes that make up so much of this area to take the time to attend and learn what can be done to protect our children.”

In addition to the Thursday forum, the Oneida County Health Department’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week activities include:

Monday, Oct. 22: Lead Poisoning Prevention Puppet Show at Albany School .

Tuesday, Oct. 23: Lead Poisoning Prevention Puppet Show at Columbus School

Wednesday, October 24: Lead Poisoning Prevention Puppet Show at General Herkimer

Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26: Codes Training for Firemen & Housing Personnel who will be involved in inspections and abatement efforts

            Saturday, Oct. 27: Presentation at Martin Luther King School on lead poisoning as part of a health seminar taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

            Picente noted that the Health Department has been touring all city of Utica schools with its Lead Poisoning Prevention Puppet Show, and that by the time the week is finished, information about preventing lead poisoning will have been sent to 3,000 homes through materials given to children at the events.