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Tamara Rubin Jewish Hero

5178 Votes for Tamara Rubin

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Tamara Rubin

Portland, Oregon

How is your Hero working to make the world a better place?

The 2011 National Healthy Homes Hero Award recipient, Tamara works tirelessly to educate others about childhood lead poisoning. This wholly preventable environmental illness, which causes permanent brain damage, learning disabilities & lifelong health challenges, costs the U.S. an estimated $50.9 billion annually in increased healthcare costs alone.* After a painting contractor poisoned her children in 2005,  Tamara found that most parents, pediatricians, contractors, & policymakers knew virtually nothing about lead poisoning. Despite studies showing lead poisoning is still a problem, many think it was "solved" with the 1978 ban. Most don't realize lead paint applied to homes decades ago, when disturbed, will poison children. To help raise awareness about the new Federal EPA RRP Rule she shared her story in  print & on television, partnering with the National Center for Healthy Housing & the Alliance for Healthy Homes. She has testified before the Oregon Legislature, proposed a new Oregon law ( HB2715 -- to protect children from lead hazards in school ), has written articles & editorials, and has been a guest speaker at EPA and CDC sponsored conferences. Most significantly, Tamara has helped countless families with poisoned children around the world, personally offering them advice & resources. She maintains her website/bloghttp://www.mychildrenhaveleadpoisoning.com & recently founded Lead Safe America Foundation http://www.leadsafeamerica.org -- with a  national panel of experts as board members -- to educate the public about the importance of lead-safe work practices & provide families in need of assistance with emergency housing & support. *study by Leonardo Trasande, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

How has your Hero impacted your life and inspired you?

Although Tamara devotes much of her efforts to aiding victims of lead poisoning, she spends countless hours helping families prevent lead poisoning. If I had not spoken with Tamara, my infant daughter would surely have been poisoned. Over the course of phone conversations and emails--often done while she was caring for her own children--Tamara gave me the knowledge to identify unsafe practices within my landlord’s renovation plan. She has empowered me to further her work: I can now inform others of the detrimental effects of lead poisoning and how to prevent it.

What type of work does your Hero do?

Environment, Health, nutrition, and basic needs , Youth