Lead Poisoning Prevention and Environmental Health


My name is Thomas Plant, Director of Special Projects at the Boston Public Health Commission, Environmental Health Office, Bureau of Community Inititatives in Boston, Massachusetts. My work encompasses implementation of the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the City of Boston in accordance with the Massachusetts Lead Law, through case management services for families with children under the age of six years old who have been screened for lead poisoning and providing medical intervention, treatement, and follow-up and environmental investigations, and legal follow-up acticities with our general counsel's office on cases referred to Boston Housing Court for adjudication.

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has been working to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Boston since 1971. We have made incredible progress and the prevalence rate for Boston is less than 0.7%. Because 90% of Boston's housing stock was built before 1978 when lead-based paint was banned from residential use, housing continues to be a source of adverse health outcomes concerning lead paint, asthma, asbestos, and other environmental hazards. We have developed comprehensive assessments to evaluate environmental health issues around healthy home principles. Additionally we provide primary preventative health education outreach and training to Community Health Centers, neighborhood advocacy and immigrant groups, hospitals, women and infant programs, day care and childcare providers, and housing organizations. 

The Lead Poisoing Prevention Program also provides Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule trainning to home renovation contractors and family child care providers. Moderate Risk Deleading Training is also provided for property owners and their agents to help reduce the overall cost of lead abatement in their homes.  As such we provide surveillance and enforcement activities in accordance with the Massachusetts Lead Law, and the RRP Lead Safe Renovation Regulation throughout Boston. We are constantly searching for new innovative ways to ensure the health and well being of our city residents and build capacity of the program's outreach through collaborative partnerships with other city, state, federal, and community agencies.

Additionally, my work involves the evaluation of new developments planned by the City of Boston or other private entities to ensure the they meet public health criteria for smart growth.

The Boston Public Health Commission founded in 1795 is the oldest Public Health Department in the United States. It

mission is to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly the most vulnerable.  http://www.bphc.org



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