Massachusetts was awarded $7 million this month to aid in the removal of lead paint from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) The Lawrence lead paint removal program was given $3.1 million with the rest divided between Somerville and Brockton. The HUD lead program is designed to assist in the clean up of homes, train workers in safety methods and to increase public awareness in Massachusetts childhood lead poisoning. Banned since 1978, lead paint remains on the walls of approximately 24 million older homes in the US.
As our readers know, lead can be ingested: by children, who eat the sweet flavored paint chips, and by adults, and especially workers, from breathing the dust particles. Once exposed, children can develop learning disabilities, physical and mental disabilities and reduced hearing. At high levels of contamination, lead will damage the kidneys and nervous system, and can even cause death.
The earlier lead program removal and education program, funded by US HUD and administered by the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development, focused monies on the City of Boston. All programs are governed locally by the Massachusetts Lead Law.