Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Billboards Educate About Lead Poisoning

Oct 31, 2017 | Posted in Home Page, News

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Community Foundation's Cara Matteliano (l-r) with a billboard

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, Mayor Byron W. Brown and the Community Foundation's Cara Matteliano with a billboard

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo joined Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz to unveil new billboards to educate residents about safe renovation practices.

Sixty billboards with the message “Renovate Right!” will rotate around the City of Buffalo and Erie County to mark National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which ended on October 28. The goal of the billboards is to stress to homeowners and tenants the hazards of making renovations to pre-1978 buildings that could disturb lead-based paint.

The billboard campaign is part of an ongoing partnership between the City of Buffalo, Erie County and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to combat lead poisoning. While lead potentially is harmful to individuals at any age, it is dangerous especially to children under the age of six. Lead poisoning can cause permanent neurological damage, including loss of I.Q., developmental delays, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Lead poisoning is one hundred percent preventable.

Through its Wipe Out Lead campaign, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has commissioned a Community Action Plan on Lead Poisoning, a comprehensive study about what causes lead poisoning and offering recommendations about how to end the problem in the region. The report is funded by the City of Buffalo, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, John R. Oishei Foundation, Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.

The Community Foundation's Cara Matteliano speaks to the media next to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Mayor Byron W. Brown

The Community Foundation's Cara Matteliano speaks to the media standing next to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Mayor Byron W. Brown

“We are really excited about this report. It is the first time ever we have been able to combine the city’s data on housing with the county’s data on lead poisoning and that gives us a really good picture of where the problems are and what the policy solutions might be that would be the most effective,” Cara Matteliano, Vice President, Community Impact for the Community Foundation said.

The study about lead poisoning conducted by the Center for Governmental Research and the Partnership for the Public Good is expected to be released in the next six to eight weeks.

Erie County is offering free workshops on lead safe renovation practices, to check the workshop schedule and sign up to attend, visit this webpage.

Media coverage from the “Renovate Right!” press conference:

Billboards are new tool in fight against lead poisoning, The Buffalo News

Study on lead paint in local housing seeks to better define problem, solutions, WBFO

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