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Lead-Based Paint Can Kill Children, HUD Puts $13M Toward Problem

HUD Funding $13M

Chipped lead paintToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is giving 25 local grants totalling $13 million for projects to eliminate lead and housing-related hazards in thousands of homes across America.

According to HUD, the money will go toward “training workers in lead and healthy homes interventions; supporting research to improve home safety efforts; increasing public awareness, and evaluating outreach on controlling housing-based hazards.”

Lead has been banned in home use since 1978 as it is a toxin proven to impair children’s development and these hazards cost the U.S. economy $3.5 billion each year. Over the past 12 months, $232 million has been awarded to the Lead and Healthy Homes grants, here is what today’s additional $13 million looks like:


Lead-paint can kill children

“Every child deserves to grow up in a healthy home and yet far too many continue to be exposed to potentially dangerous lead and other health hazards,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “These grants will not only help to clean up lead and other home health hazards but will support innovative new approaches to make all our homes healthier places to live.”

This past week there was a heated debate here on AG about home hazards and what responsibilities agents should have whether it is written into law or not and lead was brought up in comments which makes this announcement quite timely. We all know the problems associated with lead-based paint contamination in children ranging from central nervous system and kidney damage, anemia, coma, convulsions and even death in higher levels and in lower levels lead to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, impaired hearing.

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HUD estimates nearly 24 million homes still have lead-based paint hazards. Given that the average number of children per houseshold in America is 1.83, that means there are nearly 44 million children at risk for the health problems outlined above, so I applaud HUD’s efforts to creatively solve this problem.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Brian Brady

    March 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    How many children died last year from ingesting lead-based paint?

    • Lani Rosales

      March 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      The dangers were listed on the HUD release (here), but not the number of deaths. That’s a good question, but regardless, it’s still a danger on a lower, often unseen level, according to HUD.

      Our deeper questions are:
      Do you think the number of dollars put forth should match the number of those already dead or should the measure be based on prevention? Should these initiatives be privately funded rather than publicly? Or is lead paint even a problem? HUD seems to think it’s a problem, as every home built before 1978 that goes on the market requires a buyer to sign a lead paint addendum acknowledging the risks before a closing can be completed.

      Is it even HUD’s responsibility or should it be up to boards and builders to address this or should it be private altogether? Would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Dan Connolly

      March 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      It’s not a matter of children dying from ingesting paint chips. Lead causes long term brain damage and the children are at risk of a lifetime of diminished capacity.

      • chistletoe

        March 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

        In the U.S.A., the last death certificate of a child which listed lead poisoning as the cause of death was in 1991.
        There may have been other deaths since then as lead poisoning causes complications which may not always be recognized as such and because it may be a contributing factor in other deaths.
        I’m sorry that all these so-called professionals want to avoid actually answering your question.

  2. Brian Brady

    March 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    HUD does think that lead-based paint is a problem. If $13 million was a good idea, wouldn’t $100 million be better?

    • Lani Rosales

      March 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      per the above: “Over the past 12 months, $232 million has been awarded to the Lead and Healthy Homes grants”

  3. Dennis C Smith

    March 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Total waste of tax payer money. Does anyone really trust these numbers? They assume that 21 million homes still have lead based paint. Then they assume that everyone one of those homes have 1.8 children. How about just about every home that has turned over at least once, but more like 3-4 times since 1978, has been painted, cleaned, etc and that the majority of homes that still have lead paint are probably in homes that have had the same occupants since 1978–i.e. older folks with no children.

    This is how we add up to Trillion dollar deficits.

  4. Brian Brady

    March 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    More children die from pool drownings than do lead paint ingestion, Lani. We simply call that bad parenting. Of course this is a waste of money.

  5. Benn Rosales

    March 3, 2010 at 11:36 am

    This isn’t a case where you can really rely on Google to give you awe inspiring results on studies of lead poisoning so I won’t try to support or debunk the science, but I will say this, if since 1978 the lead based awareness campaigns have saved even one childs life, that is enough for me.

    As far as swimming pools go and bad parenting? I fail to see how a horrible accident makes for a bad parent, but then again, I don’t live in a swimming pool state- I can only imagine.

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