Central Valley tribe gets EPA grant
October 25, 2006
• North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians gets $59,000
• To be used for lead hazard assessments, educational outreach
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $59,000 grant to the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians in Madera County to determine the extent of lead-based paint hazards potentially affecting children living on the tribe’s land.
“The EPA’s grant will help the North Fork Rancheria determine if children are being exposed to lead-based paint or lead hazards,” says Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.
The North Fork Rancheria will use the grant to conduct workshops for tribal community members to explain health risks of lead-based paint, in particular those to young children and expectant mothers. The tribe will also sample paint, dust and soil in and around pre-1978 housing where young children live and at pre-1978 tribally-owned buildings used by children to determine potential risks from exposure to lead hazards.
Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and also affects adults. Lead poisoning can cause brain damage and result in impaired mental functions. Childhood lead poisoning can result in retarded mental and physical development and reduced attention span.
The use of lead-based paint in residential housing was banned in 1978. Approximately 40 percent of all U.S. housing units -- about 38 million homes -- have some lead-based paint.