Partnerships aim to make Allegheny safe from lead hazards

From: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the Allegheny County Health Department, through mandated blood screening, is learning more about children being exposed to lead, the focus of the new Lead Safe Allegheny coalition of 16 nonprofit and public agencies is how to prevent the exposure, according to Dr. Karen Hacker, county health director.  “We’re trying to get people to understand it’s an environmental hazard,” she said in a recent interview. When she lived in Massachusetts, older homes were just assumed to have lead in the house and garden. “Here there’s no awareness,” she said. People are doing renovations without knowing that peeling paint and dust are dangerous. “I tell people if you are moving into a place built before 1978, you can assume there will be lead there,” she said. She cited windows, windowsills, doors and porches as the most hazardous sites. Old paint that is not peeling can be sealed to be made safe. Before Lead Safe Allegheny was formed late last year, another coalition of nonprofits called Get the Lead Out, Pittsburgh was focusing on solutions and included Women for a Healthy Environment and Conservation Consultants Inc., already active in water-filter distribution and soil-testing projects to respond to lead-exposure concerns in children and others. Read the whole article here.