Program Goal

In 2005, this campaign was developed to help address the fact that hundreds of children are lead poisoned in Monroe County each year. A small amount of lead paint dust can cause irreversible brain damage to young children, and can have a devastating lifelong impact, starting with learning disabilities, trouble in school and problems with impulse control that can ultimately lead to real impacts on public safety. It is a problem that effects all of us.

With the help of Roberts Communications, we took a social marketing approach to this multi-faceted problem, fully evaluating all of the influences on the issue and identifying the desired behaviors of each target audience, the barriers to those behaviors and the motivations that could support them. Shortly after the launch of the campaign, the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisioning played a major role in passing a city ordinance to help make homes safe for children, which was a major part of the success of this effort. The public service campaign, though, is the most visible part of this collaborative’s work.

Through the generous support of our agency partner, Roberts Communications, and our production and media partners (see list below), we were able to create a multi-media campaign that targeted parents, landlords and community decisionmakers.

One of the radio spots Roberts created for this campaign actually won an award in a national contest sponsored by Clear Channel Communications. Roberts, in keeping with their commitment to this effort, donated the $25,000 cash prize to the lead coalition.


2007 data from the Monroe County Department of Public Health on screening children for high blood lead levels indicated that Monroe County and the City of Rochester are making great strides in the campaign to end childhood lead poisoning. The encouraging statistics regarding Blood Lead Screening Data for children under the age of 6 showed:

  1. A 65% reduction from 2002 to 2007 in the number of children diagnosed with high blood lead levels, and
  2. A decrease in the number of children with blood lead levels above the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) level of concern, from 1,234 in 2002 to 426 in 2007.

The Rochester effort has become a statewide, and in many case, national model for a community-wide approach to lead poisoning.

Volunteer Team

Roberts Communications
BRX Global Research
Post Central
Koko Productions
Icon Films
Forest McMullin Photography

Winner of the 2008 W.B. Potter Founder’s Award.