DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Requiring governmental agencies that have regular contact with homeowners, landlords, tenants, and parents to disseminate lead poisoning prevention information to their constituents is an effective way to advance primary prevention. Agencies can enclose information on lead poisoning prevention when they mail items such as property tax statements and water and utility bills or when they provide such documents as birth certificates and building permits. This is an effective, low-cost method that can use existing systems and leverage limited funding while distributing lead poisoning prevention information to thousands of people.
Lead poisoning prevention information disseminated by public agencies instantly reaches thousands of people who receive property tax bills and pay water and other utility bills.
Especially as tied to building permits, this strategy can alert homeowners and rental property owners about the hazards that could be created by disturbing or removing lead-based paint, as well as educate these groups about lead-safe work practices; both are measures that can protect public health. This strategy can also alert parents to potential lead hazards and what steps are needed to protect their children from lead hazards.
This effort can raise awareness about the extent of lead hazards in a community and potentially generate interest in lead hazard control strategies.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Code or Building Inspection Agency
Property Taxation Agency
Public Water Utility
No new staff time should be required; a small percentage of an FTE would be needed to produce and distribute the information materials to the participating agencies.
Other resource requirements:
The information materials to be enclosed with mailings or document distribution.
This strategy may require statutory or code authority. It also requires a knowledgeable staff member to compile the information materials and to ensure that all agencies have all required materials for dissemination.
The cost of producing the materials: writing, editing, graphics, reproduction, and the incremental cost of collating the document(s) into the other material the disseminating agency was already distributing.
Once underlying statutory or code authority is in place, implementation of this strategy should be very quick.
This strategy should be very easy to implement at any level.
A potential challenge is whether property owners and others who receive the information with water or utility bills pay attention to the material they receive.