Sunday, November 2, 2014

Texts, social media to ‘wipe out’ lead

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is targeting West Side neighborhoods in an effort to rid Buffalo houses of lead.  
The Wipe Out Lead campaign, in combination with a $3.4 million federal lead remediation grant, is using social media and text messages to educate residents on the risks of lead poisoning. 
            “Texting is a much easier medium to talk to people about lead awareness,” said Tracy Preston, community foundation liaison to the Erie County Health Department.
            The Grow 716 texting system provides lead-education information, including safe work practices, lead poisoning discussion and home lead hazard protocols. 
            One-third of all lead poisoning cases in New York State, outside of New York City, are reported in nine of Buffalo’s zip code regions, including the three West Side zip codes.  
Asthma, one of the primary symptoms of lead poisoning, is the leading cause of absenteeism of children in school.
            By reaching West Side residents, the foundation hopes to promote discussion on the health hazards of lead and push concerns to the texting system.
            The Wipe Out Lead campaign will continue through the Thanksgiving holiday, and the texting service will continue after the campaign ends.
            Text ‘LEAD’ to 877-877 to access Grow 716. By Taylor Gesel and Nathaniel Smith