Free Workshops on Lead-Safe Practices to be Held in Faulkner County on April 22

By Jon Parham

The workshop for Faulkner County parents, grandparents, daycare providers and others in the community will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Branch Baptist Church, 601 Spruce St. in Conway. Dinner will be served and childcare is available.

Door prizes will be handed out and participants also will receive goodie bags.

Though the event is free, reservations are required and can be made by calling (501) 679-1011.

Arkansas still has many structures built before 1978, when the federal government banned use of lead-based paint due to health concerns. Children exposed to lead dust can suffer from hearing, balance and memory loss, in addition to developmental problems. Adults can suffer damage to their central nervous or reproductive systems.

The workshop will discuss the health risks of lead dust, how to know if a child has been exposed to lead and when a lead screening may be needed. Other topics will include lead safety and dietary habits that can mitigate lead exposure, such as regular vitamins and minerals as well as a low-fat diet.

A rule by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), set to take effect this year, requires contractors and those renovating older structures to take precautions to minimize exposure to lead dust.
UAMS, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, and the Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-School Youngsters (HIPPY) program have joined forces to highlight lead-safe practices required by the EPA rule.

The coalition, organized as APPLE (Arkansas People Participating in Lead Education), has previously held workshops in communities across the state.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or