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Published: Thursday, 9/13/2007

BGSU to expand lead-abatement effort

BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University has received a $228,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand its lead-abatement efforts in northwest Ohio, the university announced.

Gary Silverman, director of BGSU's environmental health program, and Hailu Kassa, an associate professor of public and allied health, plan to use the grant to create a network of health officials to deal with lead prevention and poisoning recognition and intervention.

The initial network will include Erie, Huron, Williams, and Wood counties, with plans to expand.

The professors will organize a regional lead committee to help health districts identify additional resources needed for lead-abatement efforts, and to find training and certification where needed.

The next step will be to deliver community training and education programs, with the goal of decreasing lead poisoning incidents in northwest Ohio.

Lead poisoning most often occurs from exposure to flaking lead-based paint that, when ingested or inhaled, can cause development and neurological problems.

The number of houses and children at risk of lead poisoning in the area is unknown, but the university cites a Wood County planning commission estimate that 24,474 homes in the county present a lead-paint hazard.

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