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SAN JOSE, CA – The County of Santa Clara will host two virtual community meetings on August 11 and August 12, 2021, following the recent release of a nearly decade-long study that showed lead levels are dangerously high for children in East San Jose near the Reid-Hillview (RHV) Airport. According to the study released during a press conference on August 3, 2021, children's blood in the area during peak air travel time at the airport had elevated lead levels similar to the level of children in the Flint, Michigan area during the water crisis in 2014.
“Lead exposure to children is harmful.” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools, “Research demonstrates the effects of lead exposure on children’s educational attainment, cognitive function and behavior and emotional regulation.”
Lead is a toxic metal used in various products including paint, gasoline, plumbing pipes and fixtures, and tableware. According to a recent report published by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), lead continues to be a significant public health concern despite decades of research demonstrating the damaging effects of lead exposure on children. Based on blood lead testing results in children ages 1-5 in Santa Clara County, as many as 2,000 children under the age 6 may have elevated Blood Lead Levels (BLL).
“There are no safe levels of lead exposure,” said Dr. Dewan, “Researchers have found that even with low levels of exposure, children are the most sensitive and vulnerable to developing behavioral disorders and long-term, irreversible health effects from elevated blood lead levels.”
The Reid-Hillview (RHV) Airport serves small aircraft that continue to use leaded aviation gasoline, which is of particular concern due to the number of children, childcare providers, and elementary schools close to the airport. Vice President Peter Ortiz who represents Trustee area 6 inclusive of Alum Rock, Mt. Pleasant, and Franklin-McKinley school districts, stated “Reid-Hillview (RHV) Airport is a significant source of airborne lead pollution. The only effective strategy is to eliminate the source of the lead exposure. The decision must be made based upon what is best for our children to protect them now and for the future.”
The community is invited to join two virtual community meetings to provide input about the study.
East San José Community Meeting
Wednesday, August 11, 6 p.m.
Join webinar (on Zoom): https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/93339943986
You may also call into the meeting by smartphone at: (669) 219-2599, Webinar ID 93339943986# (participant ID not required)
The meeting will be translated simultaneously in Spanish and Vietnamese.
South County Community Meeting
Thursday, August 12, 6 p.m.
Join webinar (on Zoom): https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/95709413535
You may also call into the meeting by smartphone at: (669) 900-6833, Webinar ID 95709413535# (participant ID not required).
More information on the study, and upcoming community meetings, can be found on the County of Santa Clara’s website by clicking here.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.