Getting the Lead Out

Monday, October 24, 2011 - 6:36am

Money to Fix Lead Paint Hazards Available

If you live in a home that was built before 1978, there is a high likelihood that lead-based paint was used. Lead is a poison that can damage the brain, kidneys, and nervous system and is particularly dangerous to children and pregnant women. A toddler with lead poisoning is at risk for learning disabilities, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, abnormal maturation of their bodies and aggressive behavior.

Old lead painted surfaces begin to peel off in paint chips and can create lead dust in the home; especially floor surfaces where young children have an increased risk of exposure when they crawl and put their hands in their mouths. Renovations and remodeling activities if done without regard to lead can generate very high levels of lead in the home environment. To ensure that these home improvements are completed safely, families living in these older homes or apartments need to confirm if lead is present by having paint chips tested. If confirmed, all repainting and remodeling must be done using specific lead-safe procedures.

The good news is that there is funding available to help address this problem. Those who qualify may get support to cover 75 percent or more of the costs for lead-safe remodeling. You can qualify for this support if you meet the following criteria:
• Your home was built before 1978
• You have children under six or care for children under six (example, childcare or grandchildren)
• The children must get a blood test for lead before the work begins
• You meet the income guidelines to participate (see link below)
• If you are renting, the person who owns the property must be willing to participate and follow the requirements of the program

Funding for this program may be limited, so now is a good time to act. More information about the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program is available at:
• Common Wealth Development Inc. at (608) 256-3527 Ext. 27
• Project Home at (608) 246-3737
• Public Health Madison and Dane County at (608) 266-4821

Details about eligibility are available at

Details about lead poisoning can be found at

Details about lead-safe remodeling can be found at




  • Jeff Golden(608) 243-0302