Our World,
Your Turn Activities to protect our
environment and your health
United States
Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Children's Health Protection (1107)
Photo Credits
Tiffany Ruocco
Steve Delaney
Richard Healy

Did you know that the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the land on which
you play makes a big difference in the way your body grows and stays strong?
Well, it does, and this book will help you learn more about how you can take charge of your
environment and make a real difference in your life and in the lives of your family and friends.
"Our World, Your Turn " offers each of you the opportunity to learn about environmental health
issues that affect millions of people in our country, especially you and your friends. Each chapter
of this book explains a different environmentally related problem, provides useful information
about how to protect yourself and your friends from harm, and gives ideas for activities you can
do to spread the news about what you have learned. While environmental health is a serious
issue, I know you will find the information and activities in this book exciting and rewarding.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has written this book to provide you with
tools to meet the challenge of helping to protect children's health in a way that is fun I encour-
age you to help us meetthis challenge It's "Our World, Your Turn"!
Christine T. Whitman
United States Environmental Protection Agency

Letter To Youth Organizations
Dear: Youth Organization
This document is a result of our partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Boy
Scouts of America, the National FFA Organization, the National 4-H Council and the United
National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) to educate and engage youth in children's environmen-
tal health. The purpose of "ENGAGE" is to provide youth organizations with a practical tool
to educate and train their youth about environmental health and what roles they can play in
protecting themselves, their families and their community against environmental health
hazards. This document focuses on middle school and high school aged youth and addresses
water contamination, pesticides, asthma, fish advisories, sun safety, second-hand smoke and
lead poisoning. For each topic it defines the hazard, explains the impacts caused by the
hazard, provides interventions, and gives examples of activities that youth can do at home
and in their community. "ENGAGE" provides a wonderful opportunity for youth to learn the
importance of environmental protection and how it relates to their environmental health and
provide many avenues to help them develop and promote leadership skills and increased self-
esteem through outreach projects.
For years, children have been educated on the importance of environmental protection.
Because of increased awareness, children are becoming more conscious of how important the
environment is to their lives and to future generations. In studying environmental perception
and attitudes among youth, researchers found that the most important reason youth want to
protect their environment is for human health. Youth Organizations have known for a long
time that youth are ready to take action to learn what their role should and can be in pro-
tecting themselves and others from environmental hazards. In a 1992 public opinion poll
conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, young people ranked the environment as the
most important issue we will face as a nation in the year 2000. The same poll reported that
youth believe adults have failed to do enough to protect the environment and seek to influ-
ence their parent's behavior on environmental issues.
The National Library of Education states there are over 51 million children between
the ages of 5 and 17 in the United States (1998-1999). Middle and early high school aged
students represent a large portion of this population. National youth organizations have made
great strides in representing and influencing youth in this age group. By giving national orga-
nizations the tools to educate their youth about environmental health and how it relates to
their health and the environment, they will help promote the importance of environmental
health protection, and help lay the groundwork for the next generation. Involving young
people must be a part of the strategy. This can not and will not be accomplished without the
help of national youth organizations who have access to a large portion of the nation's youth.
In order to assess the impact of this document on youth and their communities, an
assessment of how the document is used in your programs would be valuable. This information
would help other organizations who are interested in integrating environmental health into
their programs.

Chapter 1 *
Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:
Chapter 5:
Chapter 6:
Chapter 7:
Chapter 8:
Environmental Health and You 1
Tap Into This	3
Ugh! Such a Pest!	26
Waiting to Inhale	33
A Fishy Tale	37
How to be Sunwise,
not Sun Crazy	44
Yes, I Mind Your Smoke!	50
Simon Says, "No Lead"	53

iChapter 1: Introduction:
Environmental Health and You
You have all heard the old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you!"
When it comes to the environment and your health, this saying is far from true.
Did you know that there are many environmental health hazards that you may face
«=»very day that could harm you?
¦	For example, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in our
country. You can't see it, smell it or taste it. You have to test your
home to find out if it's there. If you don't know about radon gas and
what steps you can take to protect you and your family, then you or
someone else may be hurt.
¦	What do you know about sun safety? We all know that wearing a hat is
a good way to protect ourselves from the sun, but do you know what
type of hat works best? This may not sound important, but research
shows that hats that cover your ears provide the best protection. This
is because your ears are very susceptible to sun exposure.
¦	Are your parents remodeling your old house? bo you know that lead
paint dust can cause permanent injury to you, your family, and your
For years you have learned
about the environment and how
important it is to protect it. But,
did you know that protecting the
environment can help you protect
your own health? By simply using
the knowledge you have to protect
yourself from environmental haz-
ards, you will be able to live a more
healthy lifestyle. Think about this:
the more we keep pollutants (pesti-
cides, oil, trash, etc.) out of our riv-
ers, lakes, and streams, the more
clean water we will have for our own needs. People who drink and come in contact
with contaminated water are at risk of getting sick. Contaminated water also de-
pletes our drinking water supply and limits our ability to use it for recreational
purposes, like swimming or fishing. You can see how protecting the environment is
directly linked to protecting your health.

There are many environmental health hazards that you need to be aware
of to protect your health and the health of your family. In this book, you will
learn all about environmental health threats that you may encounter everyday
at home, at school and in your community and what you can do to protect your-

Chapter 2:
Top IntoThis
Humans, plants, and animals depend on clean
water to live. Americans use more drinking
water per person than any other country in the
world. We often take clean drinking water for
granted; everyday the average American uses
about 50 gallons of water for activities such as
car washing, cooking, bathing, watering lawns
and gardens, washing clothes, flushing com-
modes and household cleaning. We need to learn
that clean drinking water is a precious resource
that is not available to everyone and should be protected. Around the world many people
get sick because their drinking water is dirty. In fact, every eight seconds a child dies
from a disease related to unsafe water.
Knowing where your drinking water comes from is a good first step in understand-
ing the importance of clean drinking water and how you can help to protect it and your-
self from potential contaminates that pollute drinking water sources. The largest supply
of fresh water used for drinking is found under the earth's surface as groundwater.
Approximately 140 million (53%) Americans get their drinking water from this source.
Surface water, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs supply drinking water to about 47%
of Americans. Most people use public water systems to ensure clean drinking water,
while 23 million Americans have private drinking water supplies.
The United states has one the best supplies of drinking water in the world. None-
theless, there are many possible contaminants or pollutants that can make our waters
unsafe. Some are naturally found in our environment, like metals, minerals, and radon
while others are man-made, such as chemicals, pesticides and motor oil. Contaminated
water is a serious environmental health hazard, and threatens the health of all people who
drink it. Forty-four percent of all of the waterborne disease outbreaks between 1981
and 1988 were linked to contaminated water.

Everyone is impacted when contaminants invade the drinking water supply.
Some of the health risks resulting from chemical contaminants in the water include
liver, kidney and nervous system disorders, hepatitis and dysentery, cardiovascular
and hypertensive effects, anemia and increased risk of cancer. Health risks from
waste contaminants in the water supply include pneumonia and digestive diseases.
Protect Yourself from Contamination
The best way to protect yourself from contaminated drinking water is to
prevent contamination from entering your drinking water supply. Outlined below is
a list of actions that will help protect against drinking water contamination and
drinking water source.
Get drinking water tested:
¦	If your water comes from a public supplier, contact the supplier before
you have your water tested. The supplier can tell you about the quality
of your water, where your water comes from, what type of contaminants
are in your water, and how your water is made safe. You can also get an
annual water quality report that will tell you what contaminants are
found in your water. If you decide to test the water yourself, test kits
can be obtained from your state certification officer
¦	If you have a private drinking water supply it should be tested annually
for nitrate and coliform bacteria. Test more frequently for potential
contaminants like pesticides if you suspect a problem. Call your state
certification officer to have your water tested
¦	Take used motor oil to a recycling center
¦	Limit the amount of fertilizer used on plants
¦	Install a well cap or sanitary seal to prevent unauthorized use
of, or entry, into the well
¦	Disinfect drinking water wells at least once per year with
bleach or hypochlorite granules, according to the
manufacturer's directions.
¦	Avoid mixing or using pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides,
degreasers, fuels, and other pollutants near the well.
¦	Pump and inspect septic systems as often as recommended by your
local health department

¦	Never dispose of hazardous materials in a septic system
¦	Always let the cold tap water run for 30 seconds before drink-
ing or using it for cooking
¦	Become educated about the water you drink and use
1.	EPA sets health-based standards to protect the nation's
drinking water from unsafe amounts of contaminants. The Safe
Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that information con-
cerning your drinking water be made public.
2.	The EPA also has a drinking water web site rwww.epa.gov/
safewater/l The site provides information on EPA's implementa-
tion of SDWA, the contaminants regulated under SDWA, educa-
tional activities and drinking water publications. It also lists
links to other drinking water web sites.
3.	The EPA has several publications that help communities
develop and implement safe drinking water protection programs.
These publications can be ordered through EPA's Safe Drinking
Water Hotline [1-800-426- 4791] and are also available on the
internet at: [www.cpa.gov/safewater/Pubs/new/pipdws.html].
Outreach Activities
1.	Make copies of the Blue Thumb Tips and Trick Sheet attached. Pass out
copies to your family and friends at school, church and home. This sheet helps
you and others get involved by using these tips and tricks to help conserve and
protect water, our most precious natural resource.
2.	Help to organize a poster contest for your school or community. The post-
ers can show ways to conserve and protect water. After the contest, ask to
display the posters at shopping malls, stores, the library, water treatment
plants and city hall.
3.	At the neighborhood, county or state fair, set up a safe drinking water
booth. Give handouts, and perform scheduled water demonstrations as well as
hands on activities.

¦ Handouts can include: pamphlets and information booklets from EPA,
Ground Water Protection: A Citizen's Action Checklist, Recommendations
to Public Water System Users, Recommendations to Household Well Users,
Safe Water Questions and Answers, A Blue Thumb Fun Pack (Which could
include: Water Riddles, Blue Thumb Word Search, Blue Thumb Word
Scramble, Blue Thumb Crossword Puzzle, Fun Water Facts, Focus on Water
(kids find out where their watershed is located), and Water Drinker
4.	Investigate and write a report on the water in your community (Hand out the findings
at the fair).
5.	Schedule demonstrations: How Water Wells are Drilled (After demonstration give a
tip sheet to household well users on things that can pollute their wells and remedial steps).
6.	Conduct a water contamination experiment using the information above and from other
resources mentioned. Create a display and explain ways that contaminants get into the
water supply.


Youth Activity
Conserve - Protect - Get Involved
Each person's actions can affect our drinking water supplies. By following the Blue
Thumb Basics—conserve, protect and gel involved—you are choosing to help keep
our water resources safe, our reservoirs full, and our decisions water-responsible.
Every Blue Thumb action you take will be reflected in the water cycle and ultimately in
our drinking water.
You can play a big part in taking care of our water resources. Think of ways you can
"Ride the Water Cycle" and help protect water at every phase.
Some tlvngs you can do arc:
¦	always fill up the dishwasher before you run it
¦	don't let the water run while you brush you teeth
¦	don't throw products such as batteries in the trash,
because they contain elements that would be harmful to groundwater
¦	reduce the amounts of lawn lertilizers and pesticides thai you use
¦	find out where your water community water supply comes from
Think of some more ways you can conserve, protect and get involved.
Cnsat?	aboWwnserving that ivttH tne ISPSP niHc*xc$"
• "Ride the Water Cycle" " oftatewt. j: , ,aVe leatr- < he
students, family, arid triflbwfe.

Blue Thumb Tips That Everyone Can Use
Inside Tips
•	Fill a pitcher with tap water and put
it in the fridge, rather than running
the tap every time you want a drink.
•	Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator
or in the microwave instead of
running water over it.
•	Check faucets, toilets
and pipes for leaks.
•	Use phosphate-free detergents.
•	Choose natural cleansers — borax,
ammonia, vinegar or baking soda.
•	When washing dishes by hand, use
two basins — one for washing, the
other for rinsing — rather than
letting the water run.
•	Insulate your water heater and all
hot water pipes. Less water will be
wasted before hot water flows.
•	Recycle water from fish tanks by using
it to water plants.
Fish emulsion is a
good, inexpensive fertilizer high in
nitrogen and phosphorous.
•	Build a compost pile instead of using
your garbage disposal.
Outside Tips
•	Do not drink water directly from a
pond, creek, stream, river or lake
without bringing it to a rolling boil
for one minute, let the water cool
before drinking it.
•	Use a broom, rather than the hose
to clean sidewalks and driveways.
•	Use a bucket of water, sponge and
a hose with a shut-off nozzle to
wash your car.
•	Place a layer of mulch
around trees and
plants to retain water.
•	If you have a swimming pool, get a
cover for it and you'll cut the loss of
water by evaporation by 90%.
•	Use a moisture indicator to tell
when your lawn needs watering and
when it doesn't.
•	Adjust sprinklers so only
the lawn is watered, not
the house, sidewalk or street.
•	When watering steep slopes, use
a soaker hose to help prevent
wasteful runoff.
•	Consider installing drip irrigation for
individual bushes, trees, flowers, and
garden areas. This method gets water
slowly and directly to the plant roots
where it's needed most

Blue Thumb Tips That Everyone Can Use
Atl-Around Tips
•	Use rechargeable batteries.
•	Choose organic paint and natural
finishes — wax and organic wood
stains and natural preservatives.
•	Support wetland preservation. I
These areas help maintain
clean water.
•	Urge local officials to implement a
wellhead protection program if your
community relies on groundwater.
•	Support plans to improve your
community's water system, sewage
system or waste disposal landfills.
•	Appeal to political figures to enforce
regulations regarding
the dumping of
hazardous wastes.
•	Have any abandoned wells on your
property sealed by a licensed
•	Replace any underground storage
tanks on your property with
aboveground storage.
•	Have septic systems pumped out every
one to three years by a
qualified plumber.


Our 1 cl
The Chinese
the purifying
effects of
boiling water.
Clue Thumb Tips and
Get involved and use these Blue Thumb Tips and Tricks
to help conserve and protect water,
our most precious natural resource.
Recycle water from fish tanks.
Trick: Use it to water plants. Fish emulsion is a good, inexpensive fertilizer high
in nitrogen and phosphorous.
Tip: Check faucets for leaks.
Trick: Do-it-yourself and replace worn washers periodically.
Tip: Promote water pollution prevention in your neighborhood.
Trick: Organize the cleanup of a river, lake, stream, or canal in your community.
Tip: When watering the lawn, avoid watering the house, sidewalk, or street.
Trick: Adjust sprinklers so only the lawn is watered.
Tip: Don't let the tap run every time you want a drink.
Trick: Fill a pitcher with tap water and put it in the fridge.
Tip: Never pour toxic chemicals down the drain, on the ground, or in the trash.
Trick: Choose natural household cleaners like borax, ammonia, vinegar, and
baking soda and recycle hazardous household waste at waste collection
Tip: Promote water conservation by watering trees and plants only once a week.
Trick; Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants to retain water.
Tip: Know how often your lawn needs watering.
Trick: Use a moisture indicator to tell when your lawn needs watering and when
it doesn't.
Tip: Get involved and voice your opinion about water issues in your community
Trick: Attend a water board or planning commission meeting.


The word walrus
comes from
Iceland by way of
Scandinavia. In
Icelandic, this
animal is called a
meaning a
"horse whale"
because of Its
horsdlke neighing.
In 5oandiriavia,
the name became
"whale horse" or
"walrus" in

Hater t arts tf I ife
Celebrate Water with these fun facte.
1.	Water that is safe to drink is called potable (pronounced po'ta-bal).
2.	It costs over $3.5 billion to operate water systems throughout
the United States each year.
3.	Groundwater is water that sinks into the upper portion
of the earth's surface.
4.	One ear of corn is 80% water.
5.	It takes 39,090 gallons of water to manufacture a new car
and its four tires.
6.	For the price of a single can of soda—an average 50 cents—
many communities deliver up to 1,000 gallons of fresh, clean
drinking water to homes.
7.	Each year, nearly 10.000 cubic miles of water flows along the
world's rivers to the oceans.
&. Public water suppliers in the US process nearly 34 billion gallons
of water per day for domestic and public use.
9. On average. 50%-7D% of household water is used outdoors for
watering lawns and gardens
10. Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water per day


Hater Cuesticns Sk Answers
Q. Is it okay to substitute other drinks for the recommended six to eight
glasses of water needed each day to maintain good health?
A. Juice, milk, and soft drinks are almost all water, so they do count toward
the required daily fluid intake. Nutritionists often recommend tap water
because some beverages contain chemicals like caffeine and alcohol that
do not help the body maintain fluid balance as well as other drinks.
Q. Why does dishwater or the dishwasher leave spots on glasses?
A. Tine spots that may appear on glassware after washing and air-drying are caused
by nontoxic minerals that remain on the glass when the water evaporates. Spots
on glass shower doors appear for the same reason. Commercial products are
available that allow the water to drain from glassware more completely.
Q. What is a watershed?
A. A watershed is the region of land where all water drains—or "sheds"—to
the same river, reservoir, or other body of water.
Q. In towns and cities what is the major cause of pollution of drinking
water sources?
A. The major source of pollution in towns and cities is rainwater that flows into
street catch basins (called urban runoff or stormwater runoff). While the rain-
water alone is not necessarily harmful, it frequently carries untreated waste
products from our streets and yards directly to rivers, lakes, and streams —
our drinking water sources.
Q. Why is ocean water salty?
A. Rainwater doesn't contain any salt, but when it falls on the ground, salt
from the soil dissolves in the water as it flows back to the ocean. When
this water evaporates from the ocean, the salt stays behind. This process
has been going on for more than a billion years. Over that very long period
of time the ocean got more salt in it with each cycle.
Q. Why does drinking water often look cloudy when first taken from a
faucet ana then clear up?
A. The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the
gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. After a white, the bubbles rise to the
top and are gone. This type of cloudiness occurs more often in the winter,
when the drinking water is cold.
Q. Why is some drinking water stored in large tanks high above the ground?
A. Two reasons. First, this type ol water storage ensures that water pressure
and water volume are sufficient enough to fight fires, even if the electricity
that normally pumps water is turned off. The second reason is to provide an
extra sourca of drinking water during the day when water use is high. The
.water storage tanks are refilled at night wtien drinking water use is low.
About Ihe Water You Drink by t> James U Symons. published by American Water Works
/Association, copyright 0 1997
Q. He te France's
most famous
author, and
A. Jacques

Mere fun with Hater
Hater Riddle*
Share these silly water riddles with friends and family.
1.	What lives in winter, dies in summer, and grows with its root upward'
2.	What three letters mean "stiff water"?
3.	What kind oi bank needs no money?
4.	What runs and has no feet, roars but has no mouth?
5.	What runs but never gets tired?
I Iih> lliumh Herd leardi
In this word search, look for the names of great rivers.
When finished, talk about their geographic location and
importance in the lives of peop e near and far. past and
St. Lawrence
Rio Grande

A proverb is a short phrase
or saying that expresses a
simple truth or idea. Many
proverbs are rooted in a
country's ancient cultural
heritage or religion. Read
each proverb and discuss
its meaning.
¦	You can't learn to swim
in a field. (Spanish)
¦	No snowflake ever falls
in the wrong place
¦	One step too few is
enough to miss the
ferry. (Chinese)
¦	Help your brother's
boat across and lo!
your own has reached
the shore. (Hindu)
¦	A small hole can sink a
big ship. (Russian)
¦	To rule the mountains
is to rule the river


Hater Kiddle Answers
the Nile River
the source of
life itself. For
this reason,
Egypt is often
called, "Gift
of the Nile."
1.	An icicle
2.	Ice
O. A riverbank
4. The sea
? Water, from a lap or a river
Flue Thumb Mi ni Search Answers




















































| - ~
/ *
The Humboldt
current, off
South America,
was named
after German
naturalist and
Kari von HumboMt
The €a«e of the
Hystericus I < llutei
Where does water go when it rains?
What does it pick up as it travels on its way?
How is the water used?
>¦ vinegar (the "pollution indicator')
~	small cup for vinegar
~	teaspoon
~	eye dropper
What You Need
For each group of 3-4 youth:
~	plastic box + lid (approx. 9" x 14" x 6")
~	1 lb. sandbox sand
~	water
~	1 qt. container for water
~	two 10 cc plastic syringes (without needle) ~ ice cube tray
~	baking soda (the "pollutant")	~ colored toothpicks or Monopoly
Game houses
What to Do
1.	Fill box 1/3 way with sand.
2.	Add water until sand is completely damp.
3.	Model sand to be shaped like a hill leading to a lake (i.e.. high at one
end and low at the other).
4.	Bury a teaspoon of baking soda somewhere in the hill, not too deep
5.	Mark with a toothpick or a Monopoly house, to represent a ¦'house
with a well."
6.	Add 4 or 5 other "houses" (toothpicks or Monopoly houses) and mark
out 2 or 3 "streets.'
7.	Ask one of the youth 1o read "The Story" (below). Youth should "test
wells" by drawing out water from the sand using the syringe Add a
few drops from the "test well" to the ice cube tray, then add a few
drops of "pollution indicator" (vinegar)
&. When the vinegar makes the water fizz, the youth will have found the
9. Ask the youth to describe how they would "clean up" the pollutant and
how they would keep the neighborhood water from being polluted
The Story
The people in your town have asked you to help them Someone has been
dumping some leftover chemicals in their backyard. This is beginning to pollute a
whole neighborhood's water supply Several people already have gotten sick
from drinking the polluted water. Because of this, no one can use any water until
it has been cleaned and is not polluted any more. Although the town residents
have been trying to clean up the water, they can't be completely successful until
they have found the source of the pollution. Since no one in the town will admit
to being the source, the town has called you in to do some environmental
detective work. You must test the water near each of the houses by taking a
sample from each well. Put the sample in the mixing tray and add the "pollution
indicator' to it If the water by that house is polluted, your sample will fizz
Adapted from the SBPISS curriculum. From Ridges to Rivers, by Blaine Andrews
Uny. a I Wisconsin—Extension. Environmental Resources Center

focus cn Water P
To keep water clean or to make sure there Is plenty to drink, we need to
understand where water comes from, how it flows, and how it's used at home,
in schools, on farms, and in the community. In other words, it's time to get to
know your watershed!
What to Do
A. Go outside and look at your surroundings. You can start anywhere—
at your home, school, farm, or aver downtown. Qo to the highest
point you can see within easy walking distance It possible, go to the
highest point in your community.
(3. Look over the land and the way the ground slopes down front this
high point. If it rained, where would water flow? You're looking at a
watershed or several watersheds. That is the area of land where all
water drains or "sheds" to the same body of water. Walk around this
area. Look for the following things in your watershed.
In my watershed, water flows to:
3 low points 3 gutters
3 ditches	3 lakes/straams/rivers
o	a	
n storm drains
1*1 culverts
On its way, it passes:
1 bare soil
"I streets
"i industry
3 grass/trees/shrubs
3 shopping centers
3 school
3 farms
n wells
3 parking lots
O houses
~ animals
Does anything you see look like a possible water concern?
~	For example, is there bare soil? Is there erosion with soil washing
into waterways?
Can you find places where water has been carefuHy protected?
~	For example, is grass planted on paths to keep soil from washing
Write down things you like and things that don t look right. If you
aren't sure which things are helpful or are problems, just record what
you do see for now. Later, you can share what you found with a nat-
ural resources expert in your community.
Brainstorm a list of the ways you can affect water. Be sure to think of
activities inside and outside See how many ideas you can come up
with. Two examples are: watering the grass and having a school car
~	What activities use water?
~	What activities create wastewater?
~	What do you already do to conserve or protect water?
Adapted Irom Give Water A Hand £> 1996 University oi Wisconsin Board ot Regents
UWEX-£nvtronmental Resources Center

the world's
fresh water
is in Canada.
-I ;V.r '

Hew Hater Wells Are Drilled

DriB R>J
Extra Drift Rods
Wafer Table
¦	Water well drilling machines are used to make an "engineered
hole" through the soit and rock layers to reach groundwater.
¦	The cost of a modem drilling machine Is about $500,000!
¦	Not all water wells are drilled the same way, but rotary drilling
is the most common method.
¦	6,000 new water wells are drilled in America every week.
¦	There are more than 15 million wells in use in America for
individual homes and farms.
¦	Groundwater is the source of daily drinking water for nearly
150 million Americans.
¦	There are still nearly one million old-fashioned "dug wells" in
use. These are very difficult to keep free from water quality
problems. Deep drilled wells are much more reliable and
provide safer drinking water.
Circulating Bind
Drill Bit—W

rcuiipment Used in a
Water Well
¦	Casing is put in the well to stop the hole from
collapsing and to prevent the risk of surface water
getting into the well.
¦	A seal of "grout" is often placed between the casing
and the drilled hote to stop any surface water moving
down outside the casing.
¦	The most common well pumps in use are called
"submersible." They are powered by electricity and
push the water up to the surface.
¦	In any area where there is frost, the water pipe
comes from the well through a pitless adapter
below ground level. In warmer climates there is no
need to use a pitless adapter; the water pipe can
come out of the top of the well.
¦	Water should drain away from the well head and
the well cap should be tightly sealed.
Vent Pipe
trctect and Conserve
¦	In a home with a private well, It Is the
home owner's responsibility to test the
water once a year.
¦	Most wells do not require chemicals for
treatment because the water moves
straight from ihe rocks via the well into
the house.
¦	if a home does use conditioning equipment,
for example to reduce iron or hardness, the
system should be kept in good working order.
¦	It makes sense to conserve water, whether
your home is on a well or a public system,
and to ensure that no harmful chemicals
are disposed of down the drain.
¦	There are more acres of garden lawn in
America than any other crop! To protect
groundwater, home owners should go easy
on using lawn chemicals and pesticides.
¦	Homes with a well and a public supply
must never connect the two systems.
American Ground Water Trust • 16 Centre Street • Concord. NH 03301
(603) P28-5444 • E-mail agwtttaol com • Internet: wwvuagwtorg


SEPA EPA 810-P-99-020
i DecemOer 1999
Drinking Water Facts and Figures
eart \
• Vtoter is the only substance found on
earth in three forms - solid, liquid, and
A person can live more than a month
without food, but only about a week,
depending on conditions, without
66% of the human body is water; 75%
of the human brain is water.
75% of a chicken, 80% of a pineapple,
and 95% of a tomato is water.
A person must consume 2.5 quarts of
water per day from all sources (drink-
ing, eating) to maintain health.
Water regulates the earth's temperature.
It also regulates the temperature of the
human body, carries nutrients and
oxygen to cells, cushions joints, pro-
tects organs and tissues, and removes
It is possible for people today to drink
water that was part of the dinosaur era.
Industries as well as people need water.
It takes on average 39,090 gatlons of
water to manufacture a new car and its
four tires.
62,600 gallons of water are needed to
produce one ton of steel; 1,500 gallons
to process one barrel of beer; and 9.3
gallons to process one can of fruit or
On average, 50-70% of household
water is used outdoors (watering lawns,
washing cars).
The average American uses over 100
gallons of water per day; the average
residence uses over 100,000 gallons
during a year.
Americans drink more than 1 billion
glasses of tap water per day.
•	The average cost for water supplied to a
home in the U.S. is about $2.00 for
1,000 gallons, which equals about 5
gallons for a penny.
•	It costs over $3.5 billion to operate
water systems throughout the United
States each year.

Be Aware of Your Water Source and Supplier
•	Where does your water come from?
•	Who is your water supplier?
•	Has your water been tested recently?
•	Is it tested regularly?
•	How is it treated and protected from
•	Have water shortages occurred in your
Conserve Water In the Home/On the Farm
•	Improve water use and management practices.
•	Repair leaking faucets and toilets.
•	Understand crop needs for water and irrigate
•	Water your lawn wisely.
•	Take short showers.
•	Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
•	Turn off the hose while washing your car.
Minimize the Production of Waste
•	Compost vegetable waste.
•	Recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, glass
•	Don't buy more of anything than you can use.
•	Recycle used motor oil, batteries, paints,
solvents, and chemicals.
•	Think of the impact of what you do on water
Wisely Use and Dispose of Household Lawn
and Garden Chemicals
•	Follow all directions carefully.
•	Use only what you need.
•	Sponsor or participate in pesticide collection/
disposal activities.
Leam the Facts About Your Water
•	Look for and read your consumer confidence
report (annual water quality report). Call your
water supplier to get a copy.
•	Don't believe everything you hear or read in
advertisements - get the facts.
•	Review results of drinking water tests in your
•	Attend public meetings.
•	Follow the news about drinking water matters,
such as the development of new standards.
•	Leam about potential contamination sources of
ground water and surface water.
Get Involved in Your Community
•	Urge your water supplier and state and local
regulatory and health officials to ensure that -our
water supply complies with all standards.
•	Support efforts to educate the public and elected
officials about the need to protect and improve
the quality of drinking water.
•	Express willingness to pay higher water rates, if
necessary, to finance improvements in water
•	Support efforts to protect water supplies.

Water Myths & Realities
Myth We shouldn't have to think
about drinking water.
; Reality] We can no longer take
our drinking water for granted. Public
participation is vital to protecting our
water resources, building adequate
treatment plants, improving water
aeliveiy, analyzing costs versus risks,
and enacting appropriate legislation.
Myth There are more pollutants in
drinking water today than there were
25 years ago.
Reality Not necessarily. There may
be more contaminants that can enter our
water sources today. We did not have the
technology to know what was in out
drinking water 25 years ago. Today we
.have sophisticated testing instruments
that enable us to know more about
our water than ever before. With this
knowledge, the drinking water community
is taking steps to treat what's in our
water, to curb the flow of pollution, and
keep our water safe and wholesome.
Myth We have less water today
than we did 100 years ago.
Reality There is the same amount of
water on Earth today as there was three
billion years ago. The difference is that
today many more demands are placed
on the same amount of water. These
increased demands have, in a sense,
created a different kind of water: water
that is regulated, treated and sold.
Because our demands on water continue
to grow, but our supplies don't, drinking
water counts on everyone lending a hand
to conserve, protect and get involved with
decisions that affect our water resources.
Once you use water, it's gone.
After water is used, it's
recycled... innumerable times. Some
water is recycled for use within a week,
other water may not be used again
for years.
Myth Water is fragile and will be
ruined by so much use.
J Reality j Water is resilient and
responds well to treatment. However,
using water and abusing water by
contaminating lakes, streams, and wells
with toxic chemicals are two different
things. To keep our drinking water safe,
we need not only appropriate treatment,
but also appropriate source protection.
"New" water is better than
treated water.
Reality There is very little water on
Earth that is "new." Most of our water
has been touched by some type of human
or animal activity. Even in "pristine"
wilderness areas, studies have found
bacteria contaminating water. Therefore,
it's always best to drink water that you
know has been treated.

Water Myths & Realities

Myth Bottled water is safer than
tap water.
Reality j Not necessarily. The safety
of bottled water and tap water initially
depends on the source of the water.
Monitoring and source protection,
treatment and testing ultimately
determine the quality of the finished
product. In the United States, the 1996
reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water
Act will require that bottled water be
monitored and tested in the same rigorous
manner that tap water has been subject
to for years.
Myth Using a home water
treatment device will make tap water
safer or healthier to drink.
Reality j Some people use home water
filters to improve the taste, smell and/or
appearance of their tap water, but it does
not necessarily make the water safer or
healthier to drink. Additionally, all home
treatment devices, regardless of the
technologies they use, require regular
maintenance. If the maintenance is not
performed properly, water quality
problems may result.
Myth If lead is in your water, it's
the utility's fault.
j Reality The most common source of
lead in drinking water is the plumbing in
your home. Your plumbing may have lead
pipes or lead solder in the connections.
Lead is a contaminant that is particularly
harmful to pregnant women and young
children. If you are concerned about lead
in your water, contact your local health
authorities to find out how you can
have your water tested by a certified
laboratory. If tests reveal that the lead
content of your water is above 15 parts
per billion, you should reduce your
exposure to it. Since warm water absorbs
more lead than cold, when you cook,
always start with cold water. Because
water standing in pipes tends to absorb
lead, clear the pipes before drinking by
letting your tap run until the water is
cold. Catch the running water and use it
to water your plants.
C vt	Waiu A H*Nr.

YOUTH	activity
Water Contamination Experiment
The following experiment is designed to help young
people understand how drinking water counts
on them to prevent water pollution.
Objective Young people will create a miniature well so they
can observe the effects of groundwater contamination.
Taxonomy Level Comprehension
Time Needed 30 minutes
Teacher's Notes
Approximately 53 percent of the
population in the United States gets
its water from underground aquifers.
An aquifer is a geological (created by
rocks) formation containing water.
Like the holes in a sponge, an aquifer
has openings or pores that can store
water. Water for drinking is drawn up
to the surface by a well or spring.
The world's largest aquifer is the
Ogallala Aquifer, which extends from
Nebraska to Texas.
Since water seeps down through
soil into the aquifer, the soil filters
the water. But, many activities
threaten the safety of this'source of
drinking water. Gasoline and other
harmful liquids have been allowed
to leak from underground storage
tanks into the groundwater supply.
Pollutants can seep into groundwater
from poorly constructed landfills or
septic systems. Groundwater can also
be polluted by runoff from fertilized
fields or livestock areas. Homeowners
unknowingly contribute to ground-
water contamination by dumping
toxic chemicals down the drain or
pouring them on the ground.

Water Contamination Experiment
Materials Needed
•	Cup for each student
•	6 inches (150 millimeters) of nylon net
per student
•	Ptastic tie for each student
•	One eyedropper for every three students
•	One oottle of vegetable-oil food dye (red.
green or blue) for every three students
•	Enough water to fill each student's cup
•	Enough potting soil to fill each student's cup
•	Pencil for each student
Activity Directions
Students should wrap the nylon
around their pencil and secure
it with a plastic tie. Put the
nylon-wrapped pencil in the middle
_ of the cup, so it can act as a "well.
Carefully place the soil in the cup
around the nylon-wrapped pencil.
Finally, untie the plastic tie
and slip the aencil
out of the soil (allowing
the nylon to remain in
the hole) and pour
water into the cup.
After a few minutes, the water
7^ should appear in the opening of the
// well. Students should remove water
^ with the eyedropper and see that it is
5 clear in color. After returning
the water to the well,
students can add a drop
of food dye to the
surrounding soil to

represent contamination. After a few
minutes, remove water again with
the eyedropper. This time the water
should have color in it from the dye.
Questions to Expand Students' Thinking
•	What would happen to the lakes and
rivers that are fed by water from this
•	What types of things in your household,
if poured on the ground, might
contaminate drinking water?
•	Should you throw toxic household
items in the trash?
Count on Blue Thumb for More
If your class or youth group wants to
learn more about how drinking water
counts on everyone to use their Blue
Thumbs to protect our water resources,
visit our Web site:
or write to:
Blue Thumb Club
American Water Works Association
6666 West Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
(303) 794-7711. ext. 6284
W-'i > A H—t
Activity source:	le iO«	Si«„

Chapter 3:
Ugh!, Such A Pest
Chemicals are very common in household products we
use every day. From personal care products to lawn and auto products, we use chemicals i
variety of ways to help make our lives easier. Pesticides are another form of chemical us ' h °
to control weeds and pests. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, fungi, or microor-
ganisms such as bacteria and viruses. There are many examples of how pests can be harm-F~
such as termite damage to our homes, bites and stings from wasps, bees and other insects
fleas on our dogs and cats, and dandelions and other weeds in our lawns and gardens. Hovv
ever, pesticides used to control these pests contain chemicals that can be harmful to peool
animals, or the environment. For this reason it is very important for you to know and und C'
stand how to protect yourself and your family from pest and pesticide poisoning. Listed V~
below are examples of pesticide products we use in our homes:
¦	Cockroach sprays, fogs and baits
¦	Mosquito sprays and repellants
¦	Rat poisons
¦	Flea and tick spray, powder, and pet collars
¦	Cleaners used to disinfect kitchen floors
¦	Cleaning products used to remove mildew from on bathroom tiles
¦	Household plant sprays
¦	Lawn and garden products to kill insects and weeds
¦	Some swimming pool chemicals
Many people have had at least one problem with some type of insect or animal
their home. Studies have shown that 75 percent of homes in the United States use at
least one pesticide product indoors per year. Some people find pests in their home and a
bonkers with pesticides trying to rid the home of one bug. Is this smart? Using pesticid
the wrong way can harm you and your family. The smart approach would be to find out i-#?S
pest problem really exists, and how to effectively rid the home of pests without causi no °
harm to you and your family.
Pesticides can cause many health related problems in humans. Birth defects, nerve
damage, and cancer are some of the illnesses caused by pesticide poisoning. Children are.
Qt a

greater risk when exposed to harmful pesticides because 1) their internal organs are still
developing and maturing, 2) in relation to their body weight, infants and children eat and
drink more than adults, possibly increasing their exposure to pesticides in food and water,
and 3) certain behaviors—such as playing on floors or lawns or putting objects in their
mouths—increase a child's exposure to pesticides used in homes and yards. In 1990, the
American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that 79,000 children were
poisoned by or exposed to pesticides.
Pesticides may also harm children by not allowing their
bodies to function in a normal manner. For example, some
pesticides block the function of the digestive system in
children, and nutrients from food that are needed to grow
are not used by the body. Also, some pesticides block the
body's ability to get rid of poison. Toxins can stay in the
body for long periods of time and cause more damage to a
child's system.
In addition, children may be exposed to pesticides
when they are stored within their reach. An EPA
survey regarding pesticides used in and around the
home revealed that 47% (almost half) of all households with children under the age of five
had at least one pesticide stored in unlocked cabinets (within the child's reach). In addi-
tion, 75% of households without children under the age of five also stored pesticides in
unlocked cabinets. This number is significant because 13% of all pesticide poisonings
occur in homes other than the child's home.
Alternatives and
Safe Pesticide Use
Pesticides are not the only way to get rid of and control unwanted guests in and
around your home. Integrated Pest Management(IPM) is an environmentally-friendly
management approach that relies on common-sense practices to manage pests. The IPM
approach can be applied to farming, home and/or workplace settings. IPM takes advan-
tage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the smart
use of pesticides.
Using an IPM approach in and around your home is simple. All you have to do is
follow four easy steps.
(1)	Be Realistic : Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed.
(2)	Monitor and Identify Pests: Not all insects, weeds, and other living
organisms require control. IPM programs work to monitor for pests and

identify them correctly, so that proper control decisions can be made
without becoming a threat. IPM prevention measures can be very
useful and inexpensive and present little or no risk to people or the
environment. There are two main types of prevention: indoor and
¦	Indoor Prevention
Remove excess water sources. All living things, including
pests, need water. To eliminate water sources, talk to your
parents about leaky plumbing, water bowls for pets and water
trays under house plants.
Food control. Store your food in sealable containers and keep
your kitchen clean (including ovens and overhead exhaust fans).
Do not leave food in pet bowls or open food items on counter-
tops or in pantries and cabinets (snacks like potato chips and
cookies are good examples). Always animal-proof garbage cans
and empty your trash frequently.
Install "Not Welcome" preventions. Caulk cracks and crevices to
keep pests from coming into your house. Install screens on floor
drains, windows, and doors to keep pests out. Don't store newspa-
pers, paper bags, and boxes for a long period of time (pests like
roaches love to hide out in spots like these). Bathe pets regularly,
wash mats and other surfaces where pets lie, and check packages
for pests before bringing them into the house. Keep doors closed.
¦	Outdoor Prevention
Remove or destroy outdoor pest hiding places. Remove wood or
other wood products from under or around your home. Destroy
diseased plants, trees and pick up fallen fruit that will attract
pests. Always rake up leaves. Keep plants and shrubs away from
your house.
Take away mating spots. Clean up pet droppings from the
yard. Set rid of litter and garbage. Remove standing puddles
of water and make sure pipes drain away from your house.

Become a green thumb. Learn to take care of your
flowers, shrubs, lawn and trees. Good plant health can
reduce pest control needs. Plant at the best time of the year,
use mulch to reduce weeds and hold in moisture, keep plants
watered and use native flowers, shrubs, and trees around
your home. These measures will promote healthy growth.
3) Control Measures'. When using IPM control measures it is impor-
tant to consider two things, 1) how effective the chosen measure
will be, meaning identify the pest and use the control measure that
will work best for that pest and 2) the risk to people. Measures
that are less risky to people should be used first. For example,
when you are controlling pests like roaches and ants, baits and traps
are safer than sprays and fogs. Where a pesticide is used the
following precautions are suggested.
¦	Buy legally sold, EPA-registered pesticides
¦	Read the label first and follow label instructions
¦	Reread the directions on labels before each use and follow directions
¦	Ventilate the area during and after pesticide use
¦	Dispose of unused pesticides safely
Keep products in their original containers -
never tore them in food or drink containers
Provide warning signs to keep your children
and pets away from treated areas
Always store pesticides in locked cabinets
away from children
¦	Conduct targeted spraying for pesticides in
stead of everything in sight
¦	Know where to call for help-many labels contain a number to call in an
emergency. Also, know the number for your local poison control center.
Keep it handy by the phone
The best way to protect you and your family from pesticide hazards is to educate
yourself on pesticide controls and safety measures. The Environmental Protection Agency

has developed Citizen's Guides to pesticide safety as well as numerous web sites to help
individuals protect themselves and their families from pesticide poisoning. Take time to f inH
out more information about pesticide safety and what you can do to protect yourself from
pesticide hazards; contact EPA's Public Information Center at (202) 260-2080 or log on t
Integrated Pest Management
In Schools
As the public becomes more aware of health and environmental risks posed by che
cals used in schools to control pests, youth are getting more involved in helping school m'~
administrations develop and implement alternative control measures that are less harmful +
children. Through IPM clubs and programs, youth are learning what roles they can play +
help schools control pests like roaches, rats and flying insects. EPA's booklet entitled Pfe°
Control in the School Environment outlines how to develop an IPM program in schools ItS*
highlights several activities for which youth around the country are taking responsibility •
their schools. Through classroom projects and school clubs and programs activities stu~
dents are helping to ensure that IPM programs are being completed thoroughly. Trash sho j
be taken out daily, pet food put up before dismissal and the lids on the trash cans closed
tightly to control mice and rats. To find out how you can start an IPM club or program in
your school, contact EPA's Off ice of Pesticides Program at (703)305-5017.
Outreach Activities
1. Promote personal responsibility: Talk to your friends about what they can H
to prevent pests and pesticide use in their home and at school. Share the following tips:
¦	Keep your school lockers and desks clean - don't store food in your
¦	Clean up after yourself at home and in the cafeteria
¦	Clean up spills and crumbs right away at home and at school
¦	Don't leave open bags of food or candy lying around
¦	Eat at the table instead of spreading crumbs all over
¦	Wash your dirty dishes right away
¦	Keep a tight lid on trash and empty it often
¦	Don't leave your pet's food out overnight

Wipe liquids off the counter
¦	Report any leaky faucets at school and home
¦	Check things like boxes and bags for roaches before bringing them
into the house
3 Get rid of stacks of papers, magazines and cardboard boxes
2.	Conduct a community survey. Determine how residents in your
community store pesticides. Distribute an EPA fact sheet on pesticides and child
safety to educate the community on proper use and storage.
3.	Conduct a household Hazardous Waste Collection Day: Along with your
local solid waste management authority, environmental agency or health
department, help to sponsor a household hazardous waste collection day to get rid of
unwanted pesticides. Work with the authorities to promote and inform the public on
proper pesticide and waste disposal.
4.	Help your school, church or community center to plan and host a
poster contest: Some possible themes: 1) Preventing kids from pesticide poisoning
2) How to get rid of pests without using chemical pesticides 3) Good bugs/bad bugs
4) Prevent pesticide misuse. Hang the winning posters at school, library, hospital,
bank or other community places.
5.	Develop a rap song: Write a rap that focuses
on pesticide safety.
Perform at school, mall event or other community events.
6.	Visit daycare centers: Conduct training for
daycare providers to educate them on pesticide use,
safety, and alternatives to protect young children.
7.	Develop an In-School IPM Promotional
Campaign: Develop a student-led campaign for your
school that will educate the student body on steps they
can take to prevent pests in your school and at home.
Promotional activities can include: writing articles in the school newspaper, develop-
ing posters, hosting a "clean out your locker" day, asking science teachers to set aside
discussion time.

8.	Design an IPM checklist for students and teachers: Design a checklist
of actions students and teachers can take to help manage pests in their school.
The most important responsibility of students and staff is sanitation. Much of the
prevention and reduction of pest infestation at the school depends on whether
students and staff clean up paper clutter and food in the lockers and under desks,
as well as report any evidence of infestation. Create a pledge for the student
body. Have each school designate "patrols" to ensure students and teachers are
doing their jobs.
9.	Perform educational skits: Develop skits that can be performed at
community events, malls, schools and scout meetings. Possible skit topics:
¦	Safe Use of Pesticides
¦	Using IPM to Control Pests instead of Traditional Chemicals

Chapter 4: Waiting
to Inhale
Anyone with asthma can tell you that nothing
matters when you can't breathe. Unfortunately
more people than ever are experiencing difficulty
breathing as evidenced by the increase of asthma
in the United States. Although asthma is a major
public health problem affecting Americans of all
ages, races, and ethnic groups, children have been
affected most. Asthma is worse among lower in-
come and minority children. Asthma episodes are
accompanied by wheezing, coughing, chest tightness,
pressure or pain in the chest and shortness of breath.
They can range from mild to life threatening. Doctors don't know the main cause of
asthma, but certain factors in our environment can trigger asthma attacks. The
frequency and severity of asthma episodes can be decreased by reducing the expo-
sure to environmental triggers, which can be found in both indoor and outdoor envi-
ronments. Symptoms can vary from child to child. Highlighted in the table below are
common asthma triggers that affect children.
Common Asthma Triggers
House dust mites
Tobacco smoke
Mold or yeast spores
Natural gas, propane, or kerosene
used as cooking fuel
Cat hair, saliva and urine
Wood smoke
Dog hair and saliva
Coal smoke
Cockroach particles
Gas, wood, coal, and kerosene
heating units
Aspirin or other nonsteroidal
anti-inflamatory drugs
Paint fumes
Metabisulfite. used as a preservative
in many beverages and some foods
Viral respiratory infections


Weather changes

Asthma is a serious public health issue in homes and schools. An estimated 5 mil-
lion children under 18 have asthma. It is a particular concern because their lungs
are still developing, making them more susceptible to asthma triggers. Nearly 1 in 5
of all pediatric emergency room visits are asthma-related. Asthma causes about
5,000 deaths nationwide every year. The home is the most signif icant place of expo-
sure for children because they spend a lot of time there. An estimated 9-12 million
children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home, which is one the most common
One in 13 school children has asthma.
Children often spend up to eight hours a day
in school buildings. Asthma accounts for 10
million missed school days nationwide per
year. Poor indoor air quality can trigger
asthma attacks and headaches, dizziness,
sleepiness and other factors inhibiting per-
formance in the classroom. Sleep patterns
of children with asthma are often inter-
rupted. The cost of asthma to the U.S.
economy was estimated to $11 billion in 1997.
What Can Be Done
You can take a number of preventive measures to protect yourself against
asthma triggers. Healthy indoor environments at home and school are crucial in
the management of asthma. Schools can improve indoor environments for all
students and personnel, especially those with asthma, by reducing their exposure
to pollutants such as secondhand smoke, dust, mold, mildew, pet dander and cock-
roaches. Other preventative measures to help children breathe easier:
Second Hand Smoke
Don't smoke or let others smoke in your home, your car or near your kids.
Dust/Dust Mites
Wash sheets and blankets once a week in hot water.
Choose washable stuffed toys; wash them often in hot water. Keep
stuffed toys off beds.
Cover mattresses and pillows in dust proof (allergen impermeable)
zippered covers.
Remove dust with a damp cloth.

Vacuum carpet and fabric-covered furniture often to reduce dust build-up.
(Allergic people should leave the area when it's being vacuumed.)
Using vacuums with high efficiency filters or central vacuums may
be helpful.
Your pet's skin flakes, urine and saliva can be
triggers. Consider keeping your pets outdoors.
Keep pets out of bedrooms at all times.
Keep doors closed.
Keep pets away from fabric covered furniture,
carpets and stuffed toys.
Wash mold/mildew off hard surfaces and dry completely.
Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water.
Use exhaust fans or open windows when showering, cooking or using the
Vent clothes dryers to the outside.
Pests (Cockroaches and other insects)
Put food and trash away in closed containers to keep pests from coming
into your home.
Clean up crumbs and liquid spills immediately.
Don't use pesticides unless you have to—look for alternatives such as
baits A traps.
If using bug sprays, remember to open windows and keep allergic people
out of the area.
Read the product labels and follow the directions.
Limit outdoor activity when air pollution is bad, as on ozone alert days.

These strategies and other resource tools have been developed to
help educate the public on preventive measures that will protect children
and adults in homes and schools from indoor environmental asthma triggers.
For more information on asthma and asthma triggers call the EPA at (877)
590-KIDS. Or you can log onto the website at:
htt p://www.epa. go v/iQq/astnma/kids/i ndex.html.
Schools can overcome many indoor environmental issues using an EPA
kit called Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQTFS). IAQTFS is a
successful program used in over 4000 schools nationwide. Many IAQ prob-
lems can be easily identified and solved by school staff and students working
Outreach Activities
1.	Develop an asthma awareness web site where youth can share
community projects and activities on asthma prevention
2.	Develop partnerships with school administrators to partici-
pate in IAQ Tools for Schools programs.
3.	Conduct an environmental health fair on asthma triggers.
4.	Shoot a youth-led video on asthma triggers that can be used
as a public service announcement for schools and other commun-
ity organizations.
5.	Create school or community "SAAT" (Student Against
Asthma Triggers) team. Students can create and distribute
asthma publi cations, especially brochures, in their schools and
6.	Partner with youth corps, schools and other youth-oriented
organizations currently working on asthma issues. These older
youth corps members could serve as mentors to younger kids.
7.	Create plays, songs, mottos, story boards, displays, badges,
or short stories to train others in asthma prevention measures.
8.	Write an article in your school or local newspaper about asthma
triggers and what can be done to protect children.
9.	Invite a doctor or community health care professional to give a
presentation on asthma at your school, local daycare provider, church or
community center.

Chapter 5: A Fishy Tale
^he Good, The Bad, and The Best
If you love to fish, then you know how exciting it is just getting all of your gear
together traveling to your favorite fishing spot, enjoying the wonders of nature, and
Tiost of all hooking a fish that will give you the fight of your life. WOW!! Fishing is
exciting for people who fish to provide a food source for their families.
The thrill of catching big fish and more fish is the same for everyone. The
i ference is that one group tends to catch and release their fish while the other
group tends to eat the fish they catch. There are facts that you should know if you
decide to eat any of the fish you catch. By understanding what's good about fish
at * bad about them how to select the kinds of fish to eat, and how to clean
Drepare and cook the fish you eat, you can enjoy all the benefits of fish

The Good
Eating fish is a healthy and highly nutritious food choice. Fish are a good source of protein
and are low in saturated fats. In fact, they have a good balance of the special types of fats
we all need to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Fish contain many valuable vitamins and minerals and are leaner than most animal protein
For many people, fish oils may help with arthritis pain and cut the risk of heart disease.
The Bad
Fish that are caught in polluted waters might
make you sick. Polluted water contains chem-
icals that can affect the way fish breathe,
eat, move, and reproduce. Fish can and often
times do get sick. The same chemicals that
can cause fish to get sick can be passed along
to you and make you sick if you are not aware of
how to protect yourself. Eating fish that contain
pollutants may cause serious health effects like
liver damage, cancer, and birth defects. Certain
chemicals can pass from a mother to her fetus or
to her child through breast milk.
Fish become sick by being exposed to chemical pollutants in the water and through the
food they eat. These pollutants are often found in the skin, fat, organs, and sometimes
in the muscle of the fish. The muscle is the part of the fish people usually eat.
The type and size of fish gives a good measure of how polluted a fish may be. Fish
that eat from the bottom of rivers, lakes, and streams, like catfish, carp, and suck-
ers, are more likely to carry pollutants than smaller pan fish like bluegill and green
Pollutants build up in the mud on the bottom of waterways and bottom feeding fish
are exposed to these pollutants while looking for and eating creatures that live in the
mud. Pan fish eat insects that are not on the bottom of waterways and are less likely
to be exposed to the same amount of pollutants. Also, because pan fish are smaller,
they usually contain smaller quantities of chemicals than larger ones.
However, fish that eat other fish as the primary source of their diet, like bass,
walleye, and lake trout, tend to have more chemicals because they eat the parts of
fish that contain most of the pollutants (the skin, the fat, and the internal organs).

The Best
Now that you know fish are an important part of a healthy diet and
that eating fish that contain chemical pollutants can make you sick,
the next step is to understand how to select and prepare fish so you
and your family can continue to enjoy the benefits of nutritous fish:
Find out if the water in your
favorite fishing spot is
-	Look for warning signs posted
along the edge of the water,
bo what they say!!
-	Call your local or state health,
park or environmental protection
department and ask about the
waters where you are planning to
-	Ask if there are any advisories for water quality concerning
public health or fishing? If so, what are they? Ask if the
water body has been tested.
-	For fish advisories, ask for information on the types and sizes
of fish that can be eaten from the waterbody. And ask if you can
have a copy of any information on water quality testing and fish
advisories they have. This is public information.
-	You can also get fish advisory information where fishing licenses
are sold: (www.epa.gov/ost/fish')

Clean Fish properly to get rid
chemical pollutants
The way you clean your fish is one
of the most important ways you can
protect yourself from harmful
-	Always remove the skin before
-	Cut away fatty areas. The
belly, the top of the back, and
the dark meat along the sides are
the worst spots for fat. (See
attached drawing)
-	Remove the head, tail, and all
internal organs before cooking.
-	Fillet fish instead of cutting
them into steaks. This will help
eliminate the fat under the skin.
-	Clean fish as soon as possible.
-	Keep freshly caught fish on ice
and out of the sun.
With thanks to Michigan
Department of
Community Health
Carefully fillet lite fish
with a long sharp knife.
Remove skin
Cut away fat
along the back
A fish has fat on its
baek,sldes and helly.

Cook fish the right way to eliminate pollutants
-	Always cook fish so the fat will drip away. That means broiling or
grilling it. By letting the fat drip away you remove pollutants stored
in the fat.
-	Don't fry or deep fry fish too often. Frying seals any pollutants in
the fat of muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is the part you eat. If you fry
fish, drain and throw away the oil.
-	For smoked fish, fillet and remove
skin before cooking.
Choose the right kind and size
of fish to eat
-	Younger and smaller fish contain
fewer pollutants than bigger, older
fish. Choose to eat these fish. Here's
a hint, these fish will be right at or
just over the legal size limit.
-	Check with your local fish and bait
shop for size regulations for fish in your favorite fishing hole.
-	If you plan to eat the fish you catch, choose lean ones. Pan fish
like bluegill, and fish that live in streams and rivers like brook
trout and brown trout tend to be lower in fat.
-	Sport fish like largemouth, walleye, and northern pike, are ok
to eat if they are of legal size. Check with local fish and bait
shops for size regulations.
-Staying within the legal limit for these fish is very important
because they tend to have higher levels of elements like mercury.
-	In general, bottom feeding fish such as carp, suckers, and cat
fish contain a lot more chemicals than pan fish and legal size
sport fish. Check with local authorities, but the rule of thumb
is, these fish are not the best choice for eating.

Eat the right amount - it matters
-	The type and size of the fish you choose to eat will determine how much
of that fish you can eat without the risk of getting sick. State and local
fish advisories will provide recommendations on how much you can eat of
different types of fish, depending on their size. The amounts will be
different in each region of the country.
-	To get more information on fish and some of the problems with fish,
contact the Environmental Protection Agency at 202-260-2090. Ask for
the Fish Contamination Program in the Off ice of water;
or go to : www.epa.gov/ost/fish
Fish Outreach Activities
Conduct a live demonstration in your community on fish
protection measures
In your demonstration, illustrate the kinds of fish that should be eaten. Fish
should come from one or more of your local waterbodies. Demonstrate methods to
determine the proper size of fish in the field. Demonstrate the proper way to clean
and prepare fish before cooking (Remove skin, fat, head, and internal organs and
fillet correctly). Provide information on the best ways to cook fish to eliminate
pollutants. Material you will need: fish from local waters, good surface to work on,
ruler, fish-advisories for waters in your area, and a sharp knife. Suggested demon-
stration sites: your home, school, community center, church, club, the Scouts.

Investigate fish advisories in your community
Investigate and write a report on fish advisories for two waterbodies in
your community. If possible make one waterbody a stream or river and one a lake.
Find out what types of fish are included in the advisories, the size limits, and the
amount recommended for consumption. Identify special recommendations for
women and children. Tell where parents can get more information on fish protec-
tion measures. Share your report in the
Develop a communication plan to get the
word out about fish protection measures
Using the information from the chapter and from local
fish advisories,
develop a communication plan to inform your community about
fish advisories for local waters. Your plan should include: 1.
What your message will focus on: to minimize exposure to pol-
lutants, to increase awareness and knowledge of the problem,
to have people take actions to promote safety measures, or all
of the above.
2. Your plan should include fish advisories from your local or
state park or environmental health department to ensure that
information is correct. 3. Your plan should include what people
can do to protect themselves and their families. 4. It should
include where information can be obtained on fish protection
measures and what questions to ask. It should also detail what
is currently being done on this issue. 5. Your plan should outline
your target population (parents, teens, families with small children, etc.). 6. Include
how you will get the message out: cable TV, fliers, door-to-door, comrmmity meet-
ings, radio, etc.

Chapter 6: How To Be
SunWise, Not Sun Crazy
People love spending time
outdoors, especially on warm,
sunny days. You probably take
part in a lot of outdoor activities
through clubs, school activities, ath-
letic events, and recess, but you might
not realize the effect that being out
in the sun has on your long-term health.
Some exposure to the sun can be en-
joyable and healthy, but too much can
be dangerous. While we all need the
sun's light and heat to live, overexpo-
sure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can
lead to serious health effects, includ-
ing skin cancer, eye damage, and prob-
lems with your immune system.
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas that is found in two layers of the Earth's
atmosphere. In the layer surrounding the Earth's surface (the troposphere) ground-
level or "bad" ozone is a key ingredient of urban smog. The troposphere extends up
to the stratosphere, which is where "good" ozone forms a protective shield by ab-
sorbing some of the sun's UV rays. Researchers have determined that the strato-
spheric ozone layer is thinning, allowing more UV rays to reach the Earth's surface.
These increased levels may cause the incidenceand severity of UV-related health
effects to rise, particularly given current sun protection practices in the United
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their life-
times? We can expect 1 million new cases of skin cancer every 12 months in the
United States. Skin cancer can begin with a simple sunburn years before the cancer
is actually detected. In fact, most of a person's sun exposure occurs before age 18,
that's why it's especially important to protect your skin now.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and it is rising fast in this
country. Non-melanoma skin cancer, although usually not fatal, is much more common
than melanoma and can cause disfigurement and more serious health problems if left

No matter what type of skin you have—dark or light—you could be susceptible
to the other effects of UV radiation:
Skin growths on parts of the body
exposed to the sun.
Premature aging: thick, wrinkled,
leathery skin.
Cataracts, which cloud vision.
Suppression and weakening of your body's
immune system, which fights disease.
The Sun Wise School Program
To promote sun-safe behavior in kids, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) developed the SunWise School Program, a national education program for children.
The SunWise School Program teaches children and their care-givers how to protect
themselves from overexposure to UV radiation.
Through SunWise, your club can:
Learn and practice important action steps to prevent skin cancer and
avoid overexposure to UV radiation (see below).
Learn about the UV Index, an important tool for sun protection (see below).
Measure the UV Index in your area, using a hand-held device.
Play interactive games and activities and report the UV Index on the
SunWise Web site.
Get brochures and posters with more information on UV radiation and sun
Promote sun protection in your area through community partnerships.
For more information, visit EPA's SunWise Web site at  or call
EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline at 800 296-1996.

The UV Index: Your Guide to Sun Safety
The UV Index is an important resource that helps you avoid overexposure
to the sun's rays. Developed by the National Weather Service and EPA, the UV
Index is issued daily in selected cities across the country. The UV Index uses
numbers to represent the likely level of UV exposure (Minimal: 0-2; Low. 3-4;
Moderate: 5-6; High: 7-9; Very High: 10+).
What Is Your Role in Sun Safety
There are plenty of simple steps you can take to enjoy the sun safely.
Limit time in the midday sun. The sun's UV rays are strongest
between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To the extent possible, limit exposure to
the sun during these hours.
Wear sunglasses. By wearing sunglasses that
provide 99 to 100 percent UV-A and UV-B
protection, you will greatly reduce eye dam-
age from sun exposure.
Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide
brim offers good sun protection for your eyes,
ears, face, and the back of your neck. Tightly
woven, loose-fitting clothes provide additional
Use shade wisely. Seek shade when UV rays are most intense, but
keep in mind that trees and umbrellas do not provide complete pro-
tection. Follow the shadow rule: "Watch Your Shadow - No Shadow,
(or Small Shadow) Seek Shade".
Use sunscreen. Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor
(SPF) of 15+ generously and reapply every 2 hours, or after working,
swimming, playing, or exercising outdoors.
Watch for the UV Index. Take special care to follow sun safety
steps when the U V Index is moderate or above.
Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons. The light source from sunbeds
and sun lamps damages the skin and unprotected eyes. All artificial
sources of UV light should be avoided.

Remember everyday exposure counts. You should take precautions even when
having lunch outside, going on field trips, or engaging in sports. Inform your friends
and family about these simple sun safety steps!
Outreach Activities
1.	Organize a sun-safe relay race. Form teams that must race from a
starting point to an area where sun-safe outf its have been laid out. Each team
must dress one team member in the most sun-safe outfit (including
appropriate hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and clothing) and race back to the
starting point.
2.	Conduct experiments using UV-sensitive beads. This activity is conducted
outside. Observe beads changing from clear light colors to darker ones corre-
sponding to the intensity of the sun's UV rays. Examine the effectiveness of
different forms of sun protection on the beads by covering them with sun-
screens of various SPF levels, sunglasses, wet and dry clothing, and tightly
woven and loosely woven clothing. Afterwards, make UV bead bracelets and
necklaces, so you will always know how strong the sun's rays are when outdoors.
3.	Organize a sun-safe hat game. Have a wide variety of hats on hand and rank
them on their sun-protection value. Discuss the sun-protection pros and cons
of each hat.
4.	Research the following animals and find out how they protect themselves
from the sun through natural mechanisms:
See if you can think of other animals that protect themselves from the
sun. Try to relate what these animals do to what you do.
5.	Make your next visit to camp a sun-safe experience. Help build a
shade structure on ball fields, picnic spots, or other open areas. Don't forget
to pack your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen!
6.	Conduct a beach or park cleanup and promote sun protection for partici-
pants. Bring hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

7.	Using handheld UV monitors, scouts can measure the intensity of UV rays at
ground-level. After gathering the data, they can compare findings with daily
UV Index forecasts at www.epa.gov/surwise/uvindex/irdex.htmL
8.	Create a commercial or short video advertising the steps that people should
take to protect themselves from the sun. Ask local community groups, cable
access channels, or schools to run the video tape.
9.	Form partnerships with local television and radio stations. Have your
meteorologist give you a tour of the weather center and discuss UV
radiation. You can also access the UV Index for your area at the
SunWise Web site at www.epQ.gov/sunwise/uvindex/irdex.html and report
it on the radio each day.
10.	Teach younger kids the importance of sun protection. Organize a "Safe
Fun in the Sun" parade where everyone wears sunglasses, sunscreen, hats,
and other UV-protective items. You could also design worksheets, puzzles,
and games for younger troops.
11.	On Arbor Day, plant tree saplings in a local park or community play-
ground. The trees will eventually shade citizens.
12.	Conduct a sun protection poster contest to illustrate the sun-protection
steps above. Display entries and winning designs at a booth at a 4-H , County
Fair, Tech Fair, or similar event. You could also get permission to have the
posters displayed in schools as community service projects.
13.	Participate in your county fair, by sharing the sun safety tips mentioned
above. Have a sun safety booth and turn it into a "Stop and Slop" by offering
free sun screen to all fair goers.

Preface to Secondhand Smoke
Prepared by members of the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc (UNITY) staff
In the current rush to provide truth to the American public about the
disastrous health effects of tobacco, the realization has arisen that among the more
than 550 nations that make up Native America, tobacco is sacred. It has been used
by American Indians for thousands of years as a medicine to promote good health
and assist with spiritual guidance and growth. Upon the arrival of Columbus in the
new world, the Spanish observed the use of "tabaqu" by natives in ceremonial offer-
ings of prayer to the creator. The origin of the word tobacco means "gift to the
father". Its use remains important today to Indian people. However, the regular and
prevalent use of commercially processed tobacco has produced a myriad of illnesses
and death among Indian people. Across Indian Country, it is presently estimated that
forty percent (40%) of preventable deaths among Indian people is a direct result of
smoking. Second-hand smoke is now the third leading cause of preventable deaths
behind alcohol. Therefore, the challenge is to distinguish between sacred use and
secular abuse of tobacco products.

Chapter 7: Yes,
I Mind Your Smoke!
One of the worst things people can do to
others is expose them to tobacco smoke. Smokers
may ask, "How is my smoke affecting others?
After all, I'm the one inhaling." Well, your smoking
can be deadly to those around you. The smoke given
off at the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar contains over 4,000 toxic sub-
stances, with more than 40 of those substances known to cause cancer in humans and
animals. To expose the people you love (family, friends, others) to this type of dan-
ger is rude. The smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers and from the end of ciga-
rettes, pipes and cigars is commonly known as secondhand, sidestream, or environmen-
tal tobacco smoke. Whether you smoke or not, you can benefit from knowing the
dangers of secondhand smoke and how to protect yourself and others from this
Secondhand smoke is a serious
health risk to children
¦	Secondhand smoke has been classified by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of lung cancer in humans
(Group A carcinogen).
¦	Passive smoking is estimated by EPA to cause approximately 3,000
lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers each year.
¦	The developing lungs of young children are heavily affected by expo-
sure to secondhand smoke.
¦ Infants and young children whose parents smoke are among the most
seriously affected by this exposure. They are at increased risk of
lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
EPA estimates that secondhand smoke is responsible for between
150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and
children under 18 months of age annually, resulting in between 7,500
and 15,000 hospitalizations each year.

¦	Children exposed to secondhand smoke are also more likely to have
reduced lung function and symptoms of respiratory irritation like
cough, excess phlegm, wheezing.
¦	Secondhand smoke can lead to buildup of fluid in the middle ear, which
promotes ear infections in young children.
¦	Asthmatic children are especially at risk. EPA estimates that
exposure to secondhand smoke increases the number of episodes
and severity of symptoms in hundreds of thousands of asthmatic
children. EPA estimates that exposure to secondhand smoke
worsened the condition of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 asthmatic
Other health implications
¦	Exposure to secondhand smoke causes irritation of the eye, nose, and
¦	Secondhand smoke may affect the cardiovascular system, and some
studies have linked exposure to chest pain.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Secondhand Smoke?
Knowing what you can do to protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke
is very important. Over 10,000 children are hospitalized each year due to illness
from secondhand smoke. To protect yourself you must take ACTION:
¦	Ask others not to smoke in your home.
¦	Ask people who smoke to go outside.
¦	If people in your house smoke, ask them to limit their smoking to one
room in the house.
¦	Open windows and outside doors to bring in fresh air if family
members and friends must smoke in the house.
¦	Let fami ly members, friends and others know that you hate
being around their secondhand smoke.
¦	Make your car and/or your family car a no-smoking zone. If others
have to smoke in the car, make sure the windows are rolled down, even in
cold weather.

* If possible, (depending on distance, weather, etc.) walk or ride your
bike instead of riding in a car with friends who don't respect your
feelings about secondhand smoke.
¦	Make sure your school, after-school program, and community hang-
outs have established no-smoking zones.
¦	In restaurants, ask to sit deep in the non-smoking section.
¦	Encourage and help your family and friends to quit smoking.
¦	Educate yourself on the dangers of secondhand smoke. Contact your
local health department or other local/national organizations that
provide information and anti-smoke programs.
Outreach Activities
1.	Create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on secondhand smoke.
Contact local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations to investi-
gate running the PSA.
2.	Develop a training program and design a brochure on secondhand
smoke for parents. Present and distribute materials in daycare
centers, schools, churches, and community centers.
3.	Create a community/school newsletter on secondhand smoke.
4.	Organize a Mno-smoking" day for your family/community. Include
information on how smokers can reduce secondhand smoke exposure
to others and why it would be a good idea to quit smoking.

Chapter 8: Simon Says# No
"Home Sweet Home," that great American
phrase. However, your home may be sweet or
sour depending on what you know. Millions of
children who live in comfortable, older homes
in nice communities are unaware of the dangers of
lead poisoning. It's not easy to detect .In fact,
some individuals with lead poisoning show no symp-
toms, while others have symptoms similar to com-
mon illnesses, like the flu. Lead cannot be seen nor
Lead is a metal that has been used for many years in several products found in or near
homes. Until 1978 almost all paint products included lead. That means homes built before
1978 will have lead-based paint on the walls, windows, doors, stairs, railings, banisters,
porches and fences. Dust can become contaminated with lead when lead-based paint is
scraped or sanded. Lead chips and dust gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or
children put in their mouths. Soil can be contaminated with lead when houses and buildings
painted with lead-based paint start to chip. Refineries put lead in gasoline prior to 1978,
which discharged into the air with car and truck exhaust. Therefore, soil near roadways may
be contaminated from past use of leaded gasoline.
Other sources of lead contamination are older plumbing fixtures, such as lead pipes
and pipes connected with lead solder. Drinking water is often contaminated with lead due to
these factors. Some other types of lead hazards: vinyl mini-blinds, painted toys and house-
hold furniture made before 1978, lead-glazed ceramic pottery made abroad and lead
brought home from work sites on clothes, shoes, and skin.
Lead is poisonous because it interferes with some of the body's basic functions and
can affect both children and adults. However, lead is more dangerous to children under the
age of six than to adults. They are at a critical stage of development—their growing bodies
absorb lead more quickly, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to damag-
ing effects. Similarly, children are exposed more often because they put their fingers, toys,
and other objects possibly contaminated with lead into their mouths. Blood- lead levels for
children tend to increase rapidly from six to twelve months of age, peaking at 18-24 months
of age. In the United states, approximately 900,000 children ages 1 to 5 have blood-lead
felt; you have to get tested!

their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to damaging effects. Similarly,
children are exposed more often because they put their fingers, toys, and other ob-
jects possibly contaminated with lead into their mouths. Blood- lead levels for chil-
dren tend to increase rapidly from six to twelve months of age, peaking at 18-24
months of age. In the United states, approximately 900,000 children ages 1 to 5 have
blood-lead levels exceeding standards.
You should know that exposure to low levels of lead can permanently affect
children's motor skills, speech, and behavior. Exposures to high levels of lead can
cause seizures, unconsciousness, and, in some cases, death. A detailed description of
the symptoms and health effects of lead in adults and children are highlighted
Symptoms and Health Effects of Lead Poisoning in Adults
Health Effects
Increased illness during
Harm to a fetus including brain
damage or death
Muscle and joint pain
Reproductive problems in
both men and women
Abdominal pain
Digestive problems
Nerve disorders
Kidney failure
Memory and concentration
High blood pressure
Heart failure
Wrist or foot weakness

Symptoms and Health Effects of Lead Poisoning in Children
—	—- —
Health Effects
Persistent fatigue or
Nervous system and kidney damage
teaming disabilities, attentfwt-
¦ieUcjt disorder
Loss of appettte
Behoviorat problems and
lower intelligence
Weight loss
Speech, language, and hearing
Abdominal pain
Sk)*»ed growth/decreased
muscle and bone growth
Shorter ottentk* span
Difficulty sleeping
Testing for Lead
If your home was built before 1978 here is a
good chance that your paint contains lead. There
are many ways to avoid lead poisoning, one of
which is getting your home, yourself and your children
tested. A good time to do it is before you move into a
new house or have a baby. You may also want to test
your home if it has painted surfaces in poor condition.
Before you begin home repair or remodeling projects, test any painted surfaces that will be
removed or remodeled. Disturbing lead-based paint is likely to create a lead-poisoning hazard
Only a professional trained in lead removal should check your home for lead or do re-
modeling jobs if needed. A trained professional can tell if your home contains sources of lead
exposure-such as lead dust or peeling paint. She/he will give you a report that identifies lead
hazards and ways to control them. If you suspect you have a lead problem, a "risk assessment"
is usually the most appropriate way to test for lead hazards. A lead inspector can reveal the
lead content of every painted surface in your home. An inspection will not tell you whether the
paint is a hazard or how you should deal with it. The purpose of the inspection is to check each
type of painted surface in your home and answer two questions:
1)	Is lead-based paint present?
2)	If so, where is it?
If you think your water might contain lead, call either the EPA Safe
Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or your local health department or water supplier
to find out about testing your water. Meanwhile, use only cold water for drinking and cookinq
Run tap water for 15 to 30 seconds (or until it feels much colder to your hand) before drink-
ing it, especially if you have not used the tap for several hours.
The best thing to do for your child is to check the amount of lead in his or her body.
This can be accomplished with a blood test. Contact your doctor or your local health center to
administer the test and explain the results. If your child is at risk of being exposed to lead
have the child tested at the age of six months. Repeat the test every six months until the age
of two years. Following that, have the child checked at least once every year until age six. If
your child is not at high risk for lead exposure, have the child tested for the first time at the
age of one year, and again at age two. If your child has a high blood-lead level you should
consult your physician about preventive measures.

Reducing lead hazards in your home
1. Get rid of dust:
¦	Prevent lead dust by wet sanding instead of dry sanding and scraping
¦	Clean major areas where dust collects in your home.
Dusting should be done weekly. When cleaning for dust use wet sponges; wet mops;
steam cleaning; disposable, non-abrasive dusting cloths or "dusters"; and all-purpose
Common Areas Where Lead Dust Accumulates
Window sills
Porch swings
Floors or steps
Window troughs
Exposed soil
Upholstered furnishings
Window coverings
Grates/regi ster s
Heating/ventilation and
air conditioning systems
cleaners or cleaners made specif ically for lead. Do not use mops with a "scrubber"
strip attached, steel wool, scouring pads, abrasive cleaners, or solvent cleaners that
may dissolve the paint.
2. Playing it safe:
¦	Don't be afraid to visit your doctor (your doctor can easily tell if you have
lead in your body)
¦	Don't eat too many fatty foods: that can boost the amount of lead in your body)

Play in grassy areas not in dirt (sometimes, dirt contains lead and
you may get sick)
Eat healthful foods (you are less likely to get sick if you eat
healthful food)
Wash hands often (always wash your hands before eating)
Don't put things besides food in your mouth
Wash toys children play with
Remind parents to change their clothes and shoes before they
leave work if they work around lead, and wash their work clothing
Frequently replace filters in heating and air conditioning units
On the outside of your home remove as much dust and dirt as
possible from all paved surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways,
parking areas)
Cleanup is the most important step. Wrap up and label any trash
from your lead cleaning efforts, dispose of trash in heavy-duty
plastic bags, use a vacuum instead of a broom

Outreach Activities
¦	Do presentations/demonstrations in your communities
¦	Put an article in your school/organization/tribal newsletter
* Invite a doctor or community health care professional to give a pre-
sentation at your next club meeting, at school, or church
¦	Plant trees, grass or groundcover on bare soil that may contain lead
¦	Work with your school to make the grounds and buildings as lead-free
as possible
¦	Call 1-800-424-LEAD and get lead pamphlets to hand out in the
neighborhood, or click on www.epa.qov/lead for more information
-- in your home
-- In your school
— in your community
&et together and divide into teams; brainstorm using these suggestions, and
come up with 2-3 ideas you could try.
¦	Create a display in your school or daycare center that warns about the
hazards of lead poisoning (get free posters and materials from EPA by
calling NLIC) (1-800-424-LEAD).
¦	Encourage teachers to instruct children about healthy habits that will
prevent exposure to lead.
¦	Call your local and state health departments (or departments of
environmental quality) for information about testing day-care centers
and schools for lead-based paint and lead in drinking water, soil, and
¦	Work with community groups, local landlord/tenant associations, and
realtors to raise public awareness of childhood lead-poisoning
¦	Help to set up lead education seminars in community centers, places of
worship, public libraries, community colleges, and other locations
where training is provided or information shared.

¦	Mobilize local volunteer organizations to "GET THE WORD OUT... GET THE
LEAD OUT!" distributing flyers, door-to-door campaigns, and youth group
¦	You can order the 76-page guidebook for parents, "Leadin Your Home: A
Parent's Reference Guide"{this provides parents with a handy resource booklet
that contains all the information they need, including other contacts from the
National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD, and how to get post-
ers, pamphlets and materials). Pick a Saturday and pass them out in your
neighborhood, or one with (pre-1978) homes. For more information, visit
EPA's lead homepage at ww.epa.gov/lead.
Play the Lead Basket Relay Game
¦	Divide into teams and give each team a basket or a bucket. Have a collection
of items (empty chip bags, cereal, spinach boxes, milk cartons, etc.) and have
the teams relay race, with each kid picking up one item at each "pass" by a
large table or bin. The "LEAD BLOCKER" foods (high in calcium and iron) earn
you one point each. Other foods, high in fat, with no LEAD BLOCKER VALUE,
cost you one point. The team with the most points wins!
(Divide into teams and see which team has the best score, then discuss).
What Is Your Lead IQ?
Lead, you say? Haven't we outlawed lead in paint and gasoline? Why should I be
concerned about it now? Does it still affect us kids? Take this pop quiz to find out
your "lead IQ"!
1.	Is lead still a problem for children?
	Yes, it affects nearly one million children under the age of six in the U.S.
	No, it has been nearly eradicated as a problem for U.S. children.
2.	Can lead harm you?
	Yes. You can get very sick from lead poisoning. It can slow your growth, give you
headaches, ruin your hearing, and cause learning disabilities.
	No. Children are no longer exposed to lead—it has been removed from paint, gasoline
and older housing.

3.	Where do you find lead today?
a.	Pencils
b.	Pre-1978 housing
c.	Soil, air (as dust), and water
d.	B and C
e.	All of the above
4.	If you seem healthy, and feel healthy, you can't be lead poisoned.
a.	True
b.	False
5.	How do you get tested for lead?
a.	With a simple blood test.
b.	You can't be tested for lead — you have to wait for symptoms to appear.
1.	Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated (in 1994) that
890,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 6 have elevated blood lead levels.
While levels have declined, there are still thousands of poisoned kids. Lead-
based paint was banned for residential use in 1978; however, it still exists in pre-
1978 housing, in soil contaminated from peeling paint or leaded gasoline, and can
leach into the water from leaded pipes or lead solder.
2.	Yes. Even at low exposure levels, lead can cause serious health problems for
children. Because the bodies of children are developing, they are more vulnerable
to the toxic effects of lead than adults. Lead in a child's body can result in
damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning disabilities, slowed
growth, headaches, and hearing problems.
3.	D. All of these are sources of lead except pencils, which are made with graphite.
You can find lead all over in chipped and peeling paint, in the air (as lead dust), in
the water from lead pipes and lead solder and in the soil. If you live in a home
built before 1978, get your home tested for lead right away!
4.	False. Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
Once symptoms appear, your child is already lead-poisoned (and lead poisoning is
often not identified as the culprit for these symptoms, e.g., learning disabilities).
5.	A. A simple blood test is all it takes to detect lead, which can be easily done in
your doctor's office or clinic. Blood tests are usually recommended for:
Children at ages 1 and 2.
Children or other family members who have been exposed to high levels of
Children who should be tested under your state or local health screening
How did-you do? Whether you got 100% (or not), there is good news, lead
pofStfrrrrig is an entirely preventable condition!