HEALTH – November 2013

Lead paint and Lead dust

Have you heard the sounds of remodeling in your neighborhood?  Those sounds might be coming from work funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse have been given grants to reduce lead paint hazards in homes. Lead hazards are often found in homes built before 1978 on windows, doors, wood siding, and porches.

Why is lead paint and lead dust a hazard?

Lead is a poison. Lead dust (which you can not see) is made when lead paint is disturbed by sanding or scraping painted surfaces, sweeping or vacuuming loose paint chips, and opening and closing painted windows or doors. Young children and pregnant women are especially at risk for lead poisoning.  If lead gets into a child’s body, it may cause learning, behavioral, and medical problems.

Who can receive the home repair grants?

To qualify for financial assistance with home repairs, applicants must meet all the following eligibility requirements:*

  • Own or rent a property in OnondagaCounty built before 1978; and
  • Meet the income guidelines; and
  • Have a child under the age of six living in their home or visiting often

Homeowners who may qualify: 

  • Must have a current homeowner’s insurance policy
  • Must comply with flood zone requirements
  • Must be current with all property taxes, mortgages, and water bills

What type of work can be done?

A housing inspector will do a home lead inspection and will decide what areas need repairs.  An independent contractor (hired by the grant program) will complete the repairs. Typical lead paint hazard repairs may include :

  • Window and door replacement
  • Exterior siding replaced
  • Repainting
  • Porch work

How can I find out more about the home repair grants?

Contact the lead paint hazard repair grant programs in our area. The two programs in our area are: Onondaga County Community Development Office at 435-3558;, and City of Syracuse NBD Lead Program at 448-8710; 

How do I know if my children are safe?

Ask your child’s doctor if a lead test has been done, or if they are at risk and may need another test. A blood test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. If you live in a rental property in OnondagaCounty, call to see if you qualify for a free home lead paint inspection.  Call the Onondaga County Health Department today to find out more at 435-3271.

Childhood lead poisoning can be prevented…let’s treat homes not children! 

*Fair Housing Laws prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based upon race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, handicapped or familial status, or natural origin.


Date of Release: 9/23/13 For Further Information Please Call: Waded Gonzalez, Public Health Educator

This article was submitted by Daniella Palermo on behalf of the Department of Health. Daniella Palermo, originally from Bronx, NY, is currently a third year medical student at SUNY Upstate Medical University. She is the co-founder and current president of SUNY Upstate’s Latino Medical Student Association, a national organization whose mission is to educate and advocate for the health needs of the Latino community. LMSA members, including herself, are looking forward to continuing to contribute to CNY Latino and raising awareness regarding the many health issues affecting the Latinos of Central NY and beyond.

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