Homes surrounding the Cuyahoga River continue to raise health concerns

A decades-old health issue continues to raise valid and serious concerns all over the country, especially right here in Northeast Ohio. 

Century old homes are scattered throughout the region and are often viewed as pretty or historic. The exterior charm, though, can distract from problems inside the house, typically on the interior walls and surfaces themselves. 

In 1978, the federal government banned of lead-based paint. Some said the move came late, while others called it a positive action. 

So, what’s the problem exactly? 

Any house built before the ban likely had lead paint used on the interior or exterior surfaces. Also, even if the walls were re-coated with lead-free paint, traces and flakes of lead can still exist. 

Courtesy: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This is a serious issue for children who live in the homes or who come into contact with paint chips or dust containing lead. According to a recent Rolling Stone article, children under the age of six are at most risk of exposure. This is because exposure to lead can permanently damage their developing brains. 

This week is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was in Cleveland Tuesday with his Lead Advisory Committee and held a discussion at the Cleveland Clinic. 

Mike DeWine leads a roundtable discussion about the continuing concern related to lead exposure. Courtesy of Governor Mike DeWine’s Twitter

The Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was also presented with a nearly $10 million grant that is supposed to help protect children who live in housing with health hazards such as lead. 

Many children who are at risk for lead poisoning come from low-income housing, because getting lead removed from a home is very costly. 

Even though most lead paint was banned decades ago, it is still prevalent in these homes.


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