For Immediate Release
Jonathan Larance, 785-291-3684
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is being awarded a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct a wide range of activities intended to protect children and families from potentially dangerous lead-based paints and other home health and safety hazards.
“Ingesting lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead poisoning and can contribute to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing,” said Tom Langer, KDHE Director of Bureau of Environmental Health. “Not only will this money help eliminate dangerous lead hazards in at least 300 homes, it will stimulate private sector jobs for housing contractors, train workers in lead hazard control and educate the public about the dangers of lead-based paints.”
The majority of the award will be used to improve homes in Sedgwick and Wyandotte counties, but will also allow KDHE to assist families with children who have been lead-poisoned statewide. It is expected the work will begin in the late spring.
Even though lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, based upon the age of the housing in Kansas, KDHE estimates that more than 50 percent of the homes in Kansas contain significant lead-based paint hazards today. In 2009, more than 140 Kansas families were afflicted by lead poisoning in their homes.
For more information about this award please contact KDHE at 1-866-865-3233, or visit www.kshealthyhomes.org