The City of Council Bluffs Community Development Department is pleased to recognize National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 20-26, 2019 and increase awareness around the City’s Lead Hazard Reduction program.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal is to encourage organized, local community events, and to empower families and other stakeholders to take action.
The most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Adults and children can get lead into their bodies by breathing in the lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, window sills, and other places, eating paint chips, or playing in soil that contains lead.
The City of Council Bluffs Community Development Department was awarded a $2 million Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction (LHR) Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with $300,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding.
The purpose of the Lead Hazard Reduction program is to assist eligible homeowners identify and remediate lead hazards to make each unit lead-safe.
“More than 70% of houses in Council Bluffs were built before 1978,” said Mayor Matt Walsh. “Thanks to the LHR grant, and the work of our Community Development team, we can create a healthier housing stock.”
Using the LHR grant funds, improvements will be made to 100 homes in Council Bluffs. Improvements can include items such as new windows, doors, interior and exterior paint, etc. Depending on the total expense of removing lead hazards, there may be additional money to correct electrical and radon issues and to add carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Chipper, the town’s familiar black squirrel mascot, is chipping in to generate awareness around the City’s LHR program. Chipper can be found on the LHR marketing materials wearing a painter’s uniform and carrying a can of lead-free paint. As the LHR program slogan states, Chipper is ready to “eliminate lead poisoning in Council Bluffs, one home at a time.”
“Lead poisoning is largely preventable with increased testing and education. Thanks to the Lead Hazard Reduction program, funding is available to mitigate lead from the homes of local families in need,” said Mayor Matt Walsh.
For more information on Council Bluffs’ LHR program, visit www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2358