Preventing lead poisoning at the source

October 22, 2020

CLEVELAND--More than 103,000 rental units spread across the city proper are potentially vulnerable to lead contamination because they were built before 1978 when lead paint was outlawed. According to a new study from Case Western Reserve University's Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, over one-third of these units are in poor condition and of very low market value. This can present the dual challenge of requiring potentially costly repairs in buildings where there is little equity to leverage financing, and results in potential risk of lead poisoning to children who may live in them.

Using a variety of public records--including assessed market value, sales, foreclosure and tax history, code violations, building permits and rental registry data--the researchers examined every rental property in the city from 2016-18 on factors related to the likelihood that the property could have lead-safety problems. Property owners were categorized according to whether they were companies or individuals, the number and types of properties they held and the property values and conditions represented in their portfolios.

"The issue is that the majority of families with young children in Cleveland rent homes in the private rental market," said Claudia Coulton, the study's co-author, a Distinguished University Professor and co-director of the poverty center. "Improving these properties--and working with these property owners-- is a key element in moving toward a lead-safe Cleveland."

"The majority of the city's rental housing stock carries a significant risk of lead exposure to children because of age, deferred maintenance and low-market value, so understanding the rental landscape is crucial," said Rob Fischer, an associate professor at the Mandel School and study co-author.

Key findings:Partnering with Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, the research helps inform the continued implementation of the Lead Safe Home Fund, a first-of-its-kind, public-private partnership aimed at assisting landlords and tenants with accessing the resources they need to make housing lead safe throughout Cleveland, Fischer said.

The Lead Safe Home Fund will provide property owners and families with effective and equitable support for home repair and lead poisoning prevention. The Fund is structured to be flexible and nimble, with a five-year, $99.4 million target budget. CHN Housing Partners, a lender and the region's largest provider of affordable housing, will administer the home loans and grants.

"Our role is to help property owners--especially those 'mom-and-pop' landlords--improve the quality of the units they rent and get their Lead Safe Certification," said Kevin J. Nowak, executive director of CHN Housing Partners. "This research helps us better understand their assets and challenges. We are tailoring our grants, loans and incentives to meet property owners where they are, so that they can access the resources they need in a comprehensive, straight-forward way.
-end-


Case Western Reserve University

Related Lead Poisoning Articles from Brightsurf:

New study reveals poisoning exposures in Australian schools
New research from the University of Sydney has found poisoning exposures in children and adolescents while at school are relatively common and appear to be increasing, highlighting the need for more robust prevention measures.

Preventing lead poisoning at the source
Using a variety of public records, researchers from Case Western Reserve University examined every rental property in Cleveland from 2016-18 on factors related to the likelihood that the property could have lead-safety problems.

A better informed society can prevent lead poisoning disasters
In a paper published Sept. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, John R.

Machine learning models identify kids at risk of lead poisoning
Machine learning can help public health officials identify children most at risk of lead poisoning, enabling them to concentrate their limited resources on preventing poisonings rather than remediating homes only after a child suffers elevated blood lead levels, a new study shows.

Lead poisoning could reduce gene expression in humans
Scientists have unveiled a correlation between high blood lead levels in children and methylation of genes involved in haem synthesis and carcinogenesis, indicating a previously unknown mechanism for lead poisoning.

Inconsistent EPA regulations increase lead poisoning risk to kids, study finds
As new lead protection rules from the Environmental Protection Agency move toward finalization, research shows that tens of thousands of children are at increased risk under the current set of inconsistent standards.

Cases of poisoning: Liquids containing cannabidiols for e-cigarettes can be manipulated
The health risks of e-cigarettes have come into focus after the deaths of several 'vapers' due to lung injury in the USA recently.

New potential cause of Minamata mercury poisoning identified
One of the world's most horrific environmental disasters--the 1950 and 60s mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan--may have been caused by a previously unstudied form of mercury discharged directly from a chemical factory, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.

Lead poisoning reduced with safer mining practices
We report on an extremely successful and novel project to reduce lead poisoning among artisanal gold miners in Nigeria.  This report highlights the success of OK International in partnership with Doctors Without Borders to introduce safer mining practices in an area where thousands are severely lead poisoned and where hundreds of deaths have been recorded from acute poisoning.

Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have more than doubled in teens, young adults
A new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among adolescents have more than doubled in the last decade in the US, and more than tripled for girls and young women.

Read More: Lead Poisoning News and Lead Poisoning Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.