Occupational Health & Safety

HUD Funds 39 Local Lead Abatement Projects

The agency announced its $93 million will clean up lead and other health hazards in nearly 7,000 high-risk homes and train workers about lead safety methods.

The U.S. Deptartment of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $93 million in grants to 39 local projects focused on abating lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. The projects are located in 21 states stretching from California and Arizona to Connecticut.

The grants will clean up lead and other hazards in nearly 7,000 high-risk homes, train workers on lead safety methods, and increase public awareness about childhood lead poisoning, according to HUD. "Protecting the health and well-being of children is a top priority for HUD. We know that housing conditions directly affect the health of its occupants," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "These grants will help communities around the nation to protect families from lead exposure and other significant health and safety hazards."

The grants come from HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, which promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead hazards from lower-income homes; stimulates private-sector investment in lead hazard control; and educates the public about the hazards of lead-based paint, which was banned for residential use in 1978.

HUD, however, estimates about 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure; young children who are exposed to it can have reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and health problems.

These grants have expanded the reach of HUD's Lead Hazard Control Program because more than $4 million of the funding is going to new grantees. HUD also provided nearly $2.3 million to help communities transform their lead hazard control programs to address multiple housing-related hazards.

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