Minneapolis receives more than $2 million to reduce lead in homes

The City of Minneapolis has secured a $2.48 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help to reduce lead in city homes.

The City will use the grant dollars to reduce lead-based paint hazards in 200 dwelling units throughout the city. The focus will be on homes built before 1940 in areas of Minneapolis historically known for their concentration of rental units, poverty, and reported lead poisoning in children under the age of six. This program will continue to allow the City to focus intensively on primary prevention in critical neighborhoods, while continuing to address the needs of children who have already become lead poisoned. 

In 2011, 74 children were lead poisoned in Minneapolis. Lead poisoning, can slow a child’s growth, damage hearing, cause behavior problems, and makes it harder for children to concentrate or do well in school. Lead poisoning is completely preventable.  Parents and other caregivers need to know how to protect children from lead exposure and property owners need to make sure all painted surfaces are intact and use lead safe work practices during property maintenance.

A strategic City-wide education and outreach effort about lead poisoning prevention strategies has led to the increase in children being screened for lead poisoning in recent years.  In 2010, 7,583 children between the ages of one and two were screened for lead poisoning in Minneapolis.

The efforts of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minnesota Department of Health, and many community-based partners have also been effective in reducing the number of elevated cases within the City of Minneapolis. In 2002 there were 322 children between the ages of one and two who had elevated blood lead levels in Minneapolis.  In 2010, only 120 children in the city between the ages of one and two had elevated lead levels. 

Lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 remains the primary source of lead poisoning for children. In Minnesota, there are an estimated one million homes that contain lead paint. But other sources exist as well: lead in toys, chalk, plumbing and even some foods. Other ways children could come in contact with lead include, but are not limited to, remodeling being done in the home, someone in the household who works with lead (paint removal, remodeling, electronics, ceramics, automotive repair), and or playing outside in soil or sand that maybe contaminated (contaminated soil is more likely near busy roads, highways or within two feet of a house or garage that was painted with lead paint).

For more information, see lead poisoning prevention.

Published Mar. 28, 2012