RadioOnFire.com – Federal housing officials have awarded Baltimore $9.7 million to address the hazard of lead-based paint, the city’s congressional delegation announced. “Lead poisoning is one of the most preventable environmental diseases, and tragically still far too many of our children have been affected and face a lifetime of possible health problems,” said in a statement.
“For the sake of our children and generations yet unborn, we must do everything in our power to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in our community. I commend HUD for awarding this grant to Baltimore to provide the city with the resources needed to keep our city, especially our children, safe and healthy.”
Lead is a highly toxic metal that is particularly dangerous to young children. It can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. It can also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and death. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, weariness and irritability, but children may show no symptoms. Baltimore City has nearly three times the national rate of lead poisoning, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said in a statement.
“These grant funds are critical to ensuring our children are growing up in healthy households with every opportunity to thrive and succeed in school and in life,” Ruppersberger said. Of the funds, $9 1 million was awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Lead Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant programs to eliminate hazards in low-income private housing where children younger than 6 live.
The remaining $600,000 of the funds was awarded through HUD’s Healthy Homes grant program. “This federal grant represents a real life-line for some of our city’s most vulnerable residents who have been exposed to lead-based paint,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement. “The dangers associated with lead paint are real and life-altering.
The funding secured by members of our Congressional delegation will allow us to better protect young children who are most at risk of exposure to lead.”