Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs, and is one of the causes of intelligence and behavioral problems in children.
EDWARDSVILLE – Lead paint, prevalent in homes constructed prior to 1978, continues to plague hundreds of homes in Madison County.
But according to Frank Miles, administrator for Madison County Community Development, there is a program in place to address the troubling issue and help residents.
“The harmful effects of dust and paint chips from flaking lead-based paint has been known for decades, yet the issue of lead poisoning still exists because many homeowners or landlords have failed to address the problem,” Miles said. “The Madison County Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program is designed to provide assistance to property owners, whether they live in the home or rent it, to effectively remove the hazard.”
As part of the program, Madison County Community Development contracts with approved risk assessment firms to evaluate housing units submitted by applicants; the average cost of the $900 assessment is covered as part of the program. If lead-based paint is found within the unit, licensed contractors remove the identified hazards. After the hazards are removed, licensed inspectors review the project, ensuring all work is completed and the home is lead-safe.
“The program represents an opportunity for qualified home owners to make their homes safe without incurring the expense,” Miles said. “We know the negative effects of lead-based paint and there is no viable reason for this health hazard to exist in any home in Madison County.”
Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs, and is one of the causes of intelligence and behavioral problems in children. In pregnant women, lead can cause abnormal fetal development.
Despite efforts at education and prevention — such as the Madison County Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program — children in Madison County continue to be poisoned by lead from peeling lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust and other sources in their homes. Children commonly ingest lead dust through hand-to-mouth activities. Evidence also exists that links children ingesting lead from the mother’s breast milk.
Eligibility and income guidelines: Owner-occupied homes and/or rental units housing children age 5 or younger, housing pregnant women, housing income eligible residents and houses built before 1978.
Annual income requirements
Household size one: $37,600
Household size two: $43,000
Household size three: $48,350
Household size four: $53,700
Household size five: $58,000
Household size six: $62,300
Household size seven: $66,600
Household size eight: $70,900
Income guidelines are based on HUD data.
Proof of homeownership and homeowner’s insurance is required. The owners of rental homes or apartments are required to contribute 10 percent of the cost of the lead hazard control work.
The Madison County Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program is administered by Madison County Community Development and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
For information, residents can contact program manager Peggy Dugger, Madison County Community Development, at (618) 296-4383 or via email at email@example.com.