Three Iowa communities will share 7.5 million federal dollars to remove lead-based paint from low-income households. Sioux City’s share is two million dollars, targeting lead hazards in buildings built before 1978.
Paul Barnes, the Sioux City neighborhood services supervisor, says his team will be searching for chipped paint on windows, walls, baseboards and cupboards.
Barnes says, "What we would be doing is making sure that those components in the houses are in good repair, that the painted surfaces are consistent and covered, that they’re not deteriorated or chipping." He says lead-based paint can be dangerous for children six and under.
"Children can become affected many different ways if they ingest the lead because they’re still developing," Barnes says. "They still have brain and nervous systems that are rapidly developing and if they ingest lead in those early years, it can really affect the development and growth that otherwise should be occurring."
Barnes says over the next few months, they’ll use information from Siouxland District Health Department and referrals to find locations that need lead control. The federal government banned lead paint in 1978. Sioux City will be awarded nearly two-million dollars to create 75 lead-safe housing units.
Polk County will get $3-million to eliminate lead in 206 units in the Des Moines area and Marshalltown will get nearly $2.6 million to remove lead from 150 units. The money is Iowa’s share of $100-million from the federal economic stimulus package that’s targeting hazardous paint in homes in 20 states.