FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2009

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346

 

ACT NOW TO REDUCE LEAD HAZARDS AT HOME
New Union County grants help low-income households

 

Elizabeth, NJ – Lead-based paint in older homes can be a serious health hazard for young children. The new Union County Lead Hazard Reduction Program provides financial help for
low-income property owners to reduce the risk.

“Lead poisoning at home is a preventable tragedy, and the Lead Hazard Grant Program will enable more Union County families to make their homes safe and healthy,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Details about the Grant Program are outlined in a new Union County brochure, “Let’s Tap the Lead Out.” Community groups and civic organizations are welcome to download, copy and distribute the brochure from the County website, www.ucnj.org. A “Let’s Tap the Lead Out” link is located at the bottom of the home page.

To be eligible for a grant, households must meet an income limit, and must include pregnant women or children age six and under. In addition, the dwelling must have been built before 1978.

The grants are available to low-income landlords, as well as to low-income homeowners who live in their property.

For more information on the Union County Lead Hazard Reduction Program, residents of Rahway and Plainfield can call 908-527-4215. Voice messages are returned promptly. All other Union County residents can call Development Directions at 732-382-8100.

Lead was once routinely added to house paint to improve durability. Young children are at high risk, from nibbling on painted surfaces, transferring paint dust and chips from hand to mouth, or breathing in airborne dust.

Restrictions on leaded house paint went into effect in 1978. Since then, public housing has received extensive remediation. However, exposure to lead paint continues to persist in privately owned properties.

A new coat of lead-free paint helps to reduce the hazard but children are best protected when the remediation work is conducted by trained professionals.