Lead-safe housing policy guidance
Published Date:December 2004
Corporate Authors:Alliance for Healthy Homes. ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) ;
Description:Part I. Basic lead-safe housing standards -- Part II. Legal authorities -- Part III. Programmatic opportunities -- Part IV. Reference materials: -- Appendix A: Federal law -- Appendix B: Federal standards for hazardous lead dust -- Appendix C: Fundamental tenant safeguards -- Appendix D: Acronym index -- Appendix E: Glossary of terms.
As the Federal Strategy for Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning emphasizes, ending lead poisoning as a public health problem requires making our housing stock lead-safe. Blood lead screening, case management services for children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLs), and raising public awareness are all important supporting strategies, but identifying and treating children after the damage is done is not protective. In the same regard, educating parents is helpful but insufficient as a prevention strategy. Research makes clear that parents lack the power to protect their children if there are serious lead hazards in their home. The only sure way to protect children from lead poisoning is through primary prevention strategies—preventing, identifying, and controlling lead hazards in housing, especially deteriorated lead-based paint and lead dust hazards.
Of the 39 million leaded housing units in the United States, HUD estimates that 25 million pose “significant lead hazards.” Because these units span the full spectrum of risk—from exceedingly low to extremely grave—different measures are needed in different situations to maximize the public health benefits of investments to improve property maintenance and repair. Making our housing stock lead-safe ultimately depends on action by property owners, but government agencies can foster effective action by setting clear standards, offering technical support and assistance, providing subsidies where justified, encouraging improvements in property maintenance and repairs, and enforcing compliance as needed.
The Alliance for Healthy Homes has created this four-part Lead-Safe Housing Policy Guidance to assist state and local policy makers and government agency staff in establishing a prevention-based framework to advance lead-safe housing. To develop this resource, the Alliance drew upon enlightened approaches that jurisdictions across the country are already pursuing and finding effective. We hope that this Guidance will be helpful to health and housing practitioners as well as other advocates for children’s health in every city, county, and state—regardless of its current laws or level of political will.
The Alliance thanks the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which funded the development of these materials.
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