Organization Works to Make Syracuse Lead Safe by 2025

The Get the Lead Out Block Party will offer information about how lead affects children and demonstrate how you can protect your family. (c) 2018 Fernando Garcia-Franceschini

Listen here to find out more about Tomorrow’s Neighbors Today Southside’s efforts to end lead poisoning in Syracuse.

Audio Transcript: Get the Lead Out

By Fernando Garcia-Franceschini SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Tomorrow’s Neighbors Today Southside will begin working towards making Syracuse lead safe with their Get the Lead Out Block Party, an event that will have Onondaga County’s Health Department conducting on-site lead testing.

Co-chair of the Housing Taskforce Jaime Howley said their main focus in on children since lead can cause neurological disorders and their brains are still developing.

“It disrupts the normal growth of brains and can cause trouble for the children when they go to school”, she said. “If children have a lead level above 5 that’s a sign that more investigation needs to be done into where the child lives and how the child is being exposed.”

Howley said kids with full stomachs are less likely to absorb lead, which is why this neurotoxin is such a threat in poor neighborhoods.

“That’s why at the Block Party we’re going to have some free food that we’re going to give away”, she commented.

The co-chair recognized that speaking about lead can make some adults anxious, so the Housing Taskforce decided to include entertainment activities in the event, like bouncy houses and carnival games, to distract the children while the officials talk to the parents.

Howley said lead is very common in Syracuse because over 90 percent of the buildings were built before 1978, year when the U.S. banned the chemical.

According to Howley, Home Headquarters, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create housing opportunities for individuals and families, put together a 52-pages-long action plan to end lead in the city.

The Get the Lead Out Block Party will take place at the Dunk and Bright Furniture’s parking lot this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.