The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a public health grant Tuesday focusing on the prevention of lead poisoning in children.
Although not new, the grant is getting more attention after reports of unusually high levels of lead has been found in the water at several local schools.
Children who fall ill and test positive for high levels of lead could qualify for help from this grant.
The funds come from the state and today the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency asked supervisors for permission to accept the money.
Children are usually recommended to the program by a physician. HHSA receives the positive test results and the child is assigned a case manager.
The case manager then helps track down how the child was contaminated.
”We will go into their homes try to really get a sense of what is the exposure causing that high lead level, and whether it is house paint, or imported candy or other sources,” said Sayone Thihalolipavan, Deputy Public Health Officer. “We will try to explore whatever we can and really work with that family over time to make sure that their lead levels go down.”
The grant provides nearly $1.3 million over three years.
“If any student ws exposed to lead contaminated water at school, we ask that if they are concerned that they work with their medical provider to get tested for lead poisoning,” Thihalolipavan said. “If they have high enough levels then, that meet the requirements of the state grant, we would work with the families to figure out what the root causes were.”
In order to qualify for the grant, the positive lead test results must reflect more than 14 microliters per deciliter of lead.