Adults and children attending the Free Multicultural Healthy Kids Healthy Homes Fair on Saturday, Oct. 31, will enjoy fun activities and learn about resources to protect kids from Lead and Home Health Hazards.
The event, presented by Josiah Hill III Clinic, will be held at 65 NE Stanton, Portland, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Russian and Spanish interpreters will be on hand.
Adults can speak with experts and will find many resources at the fair and as well as be able to attend work-shops on renters' rights, lead poisoning prevention and green cleaning.
Children can participate in many fun activities. There will be a lead-free toy give-away for infants and toddlers (while supplies last). Miller Paint employees will be volunteering doing a fun project featuring swirls of their favorite colors created in lead-free paint.
Blood lead testing and hemoglobin testing for children will be done for free. Families can bring toys and dishware/pottery to be screened for lead (up to four items per household). Healthy food and beverages will also be served. "The focus of this year's fair is to provide information about community services and resources that can help families create a healthy home," says Kate O'Donnell, program coordinator of the Josiah Hill III Clinic. The non-profit clinic's mission is to protect children from environmental hazards and promote community action for healthy homes.
Young children attending the fair will be able to have his or her blood lead level tested and screened using a simple capillary finger-prick test. "Probably one to three percent of kids in Portland have blood lead levels of concern," says William E. Lambert, Ph.D., chair of the board of directors of the Josiah Hill III Clinic and an associate professor of public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health and Science University. "Because many kids are not getting screened during doctors' checkups, free blood lead screening, such as that provided by the Josiah Hill Clinic, becomes essential." Dr. Lambert specializes in research on the health effects of toxic substances.
Dr. Lambert points to the importance of lead testing and prevention. "Lead poisoning in kids has not gone away. In large part it persists because of lead dust from deteriorating paint and remodeling work in older homes," he says. "Recently we have seen lead exposures from toys and earthenware pottery."
Multicultural Healthy Kids Healthy Homes Fair Lead-safe Kids Fair sponsors include the Portland Water Bureau and the Office of Multicultural Health.