Healthy Homes

Congress passes budget cut for CDC, hurts battle for healthy homes

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 09:55

President Barack Obama had proposed to cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) budget for the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and its Asthma Control Program by 50 percent. However, Congress passed a final budget that eliminated much more funding, according to a release from the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Though homeowners can take significant strides toward eliminating harmful materials and toxins from their houses by using lead-free paint and installing radiant heating systems, federal funding that educates people about these products is being eliminated.

"Congress' decision to cut CDC's budget couldn't come at a worse time—lead poisoning is a winnable battle, but not with a 94% cut in funding," said Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Elevated blood lead levels are associated with decreased academic achievement, cognition problems, increased incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other behavior problems, according to the release.

Though the funding for the organization has been cut, eliminating much of the education surrounding radiant heating systems - which do not use contaminant-producing radiators, heating ducts and air vents - and lead-free paint, the goals for the CDC have been adjusted.

"The Committee made a historic decision in advising CDC to act on the increasing evidence of adverse consequences for children of levels of lead in the blood well below the previous CDC level of concern," Deborah Cory-Slechta, Professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, said in a statement.

A lack of funding will make achieving these goals difficult, but the importance of letting America's children grow up in healthy homes has not been lost on the CDC and other healthy housing organizations, according to the release.