HEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES!
Healthy People. Healthy Environment. Whether we're educating our community about toxics in the river or toxics in the home, The Lands Council's environmental health program is committed to protecting people's health and cleaning up our environment.
What is environmental health? Environmental Health is concerned with aspects of both the natural and man-made environment that affect people's health.
Our Current Projects:
- Spokane River Toxics Outreach - educating all people who play or fish in the Spokane River about exposure to toxics, in concert with the Washington Department of Ecology and the Spokane Regional Health District
- Get Active, Spokane - promoting active transportation (e.g. walking and biking) in an effort to decrease automobile pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard air quality, build community, and enhance the overall quality of life in Spokane
Get the Lead Out: Since the mid-1990's, The Lands Council has been involved in cleaning up a legacy of waste in the environment from a century of mining in north Idaho, while simultaneously advocating for people's health. Our "Get the Lead Out" campaign pushed for clean-up of lead and other heavy metals in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene watershed and advocated for increased testing of children for lead poisoning.
Spokane River Toxics: In 2000, health advisories were issued on the Washington State side of the Spokane River, warning people to exercise caution while recreating on certain beaches because of lead and other heavy metals in the soils, and to avoid eating fish due to PCB-contamination from local industry. Since 2003, The Lands Council, through grants from the WA Department of Ecology, has been educating people who use the river most often (homeless, low income, and recent immigrant residents) about Spokane River toxics, helping to protect their health and involving them in the clean-up process.
Reduce Childhood Lead Poisoning: Over the years, we've realized that exposure to lead comes from many different sources-contaminated beaches on the Spokane River, contaminated industrial sites, lead-based paint in the home and in toys, residual deposits from past use of leaded gasoline and pesticides, and lead found in drinking water pipes. In an effort to protect the health of those most affected by exposure to this dangerous environmental toxin, The Lands Council, with funding from the EPA, worked with at-risk inner-city families to reduce childhood lead poisoning and promoted increased childhood blood lead testing in Spokane.
Build Sustainble Partnerships: We've also learned that the key to protecting people's health and cleaning up our local environment is the creation of self-sustaining partnerships between government agencies, business, industry, neighborhood groups, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, health care providers, and local citizens. In collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District and the Environmental Protection Agency, we helped create a multi-stakeholder team to assess environmental health issues of concern in Spokane County, build plans for action, and implement activities that will reduce exposure to toxic pollutants and make Spokane a healthier place to live.
Contact: Kat Hall at khall (at) landscouncil.org, 509-209-2403