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Going Down the Road Less Traveled in EPA – Lead Outreach in a New Form

2009 August 28

As member of the EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics outreach team (the part that focuses on lead poisoning prevention), I was faced with the task of trying to identify new forms of communication to reach the general public about Lead Poisoning Prevention. My solution: Launch a Video Contest!

Sounds easy? You be the judge! Here are some of my lessons learned when launching a video contest.

  • Ensure you have web-know-how support. Without my two fantastic interns; Mary and Micheal, I would have never be able to navigate YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • When filming a video on the National Mall remember — wind, sun, and happy tourist conversation can all affect video quality (see video below!!).
  • Be prepared to be called at the last minute to appear on camera regardless of your experience. Being a biologist, like myself, does not prepare you in any way to read a script, look at a camera and talk slowly. (Trust me, I tried and I realized I am no Lisa Ling).
  • Government outreach — or any outreach — is no longer just about conferences, documents, and presentations. Think of new ideas and you never know how many people you may reach and what you might accomplish.


Mary, Mike and I hope that this contest will help EPA motivate those who are interested in furthering the message about Lead Poisoning Prevention. We look forward to your entries and are eager to see whose names will be on the winners’ checks in October!

About the author: Christina Wadlington joined EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics in July 2008 and works on Lead and Mercury outreach and policy. After calling many places home from traveling with the Marine Corps, she settled in the Washington, DC area while attending Georgetown University, where she studied the learning behaviors of Monarch butterflies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Johnny R. permalink
    August 29, 2009

    It’s important to warn the public about the danger of lead poisonng, but equally important to stop the manufacturer from including lead in products the people buy in stores.

  2. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    August 29, 2009

    The video idea was a good one. The distribution will be important. Selections from the video contest winners could maybe be put together to form public service spots for television to get the word out. And the entire winning videos could be shown at community meetings in neighborhoods where older housing and lead paint is or could be an important issue. Also is the possibility of reaching out to programs and organizations who are interested in health issues and disabilities but who may not have been considered in the past. One example could be People First California and its state chapters. People First is an organization that works with and for disabled persons and would be interested in knowing what to do to eliminate some of the things in the environment that can cause disabilities, like lead paint in old houses. Many members have to live in older housing because it cost less and could be exposed to lead paint and other similar problems on an on-going basis. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  3. kerala permalink
    August 30, 2009

    Nice information. thanks

  4. Helen permalink
    August 31, 2009

    I can not believe that in this day and age with all the information around us about lead poisining, that manufactures are still allowed to have it in their products.
    Keep up the good work of making people aware of this problem.

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