Lead Safe Housing Program
Today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. Lead poisoning is a serious health issue for many young children and their families. Lead has been shown to be particularly harmful to children younger than six years with lead causing damage to the brain and developmental delay. Currently, only 3% of children in Utah are being tested for lead exposure and thousands of Utah families are living in households that could have lead hazards such as lead based paint.
Salt Lake County Lead Safe Housing
UPHE is working with Salt Lake County’s Lead Safe Housing program to help decrease the impact of lead poisoning on Utah children by offering free lead testing and free home lead remediation to qualifying families. Due to a HUD and CDC grant, we are able to repaint the interiors and exteriors of homes and replace windows for free if we detect sources of lead in the home. If you can answer yes to the questions listed below you may qualify for these free services!
- Do you live in a home or rental built before 1978?
- Are you pregnant or have a child under the age of six living in, or visiting your home?
- Is you household income at or below the qualifying level listed to the right?
If you or someone you know qualifies for this program please call Salt Lake County at 385-468-4892 or visit their website https://slco.org/lead-safe-housing/ to learn more about this life changing program.
Over the past few years, UPHE has made strong progress against lead poisoning in the state of Utah. By partnering with Salt Lake County’s Lead Safe Housing program, UPHE has helped make 202 housing units lead safe, protected 421 children younger than 6 from lead hazards and saved Salt Lake County residents an estimated $49,000,000 in lead poisoning related medical costs.
Additionally, UPHE has helped the Utah Lead Coalition lower the definition of elevated blood lead level reflecting the CDC’s recommendation of greater than or equal to 5 micrograms per deciliter, published multiple news stories and passed state legislation encouraging action to reduce the number of elevated blood lead levels in Utah.
UPHE is proud to partner with the Lead Safe Housing program and the Utah Lead Coalition and is looking forward to continuing to combating lead poisoning in the future.
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning is a buildup of lead occurs in the body. There is no safe known level of lead in the body and lead can be particularly damaging for young children. There is often no early signs for lead poisoning so it is crucial that children are tested for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2 to prevent serious complications. When children are exposed to lead it can cause:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Slowed growth and development
- Learning and behavior problems
- Hearing and speech problems
The only way to know for sure if a child has been poisoned is to get the child tested for lead.
Lead Free Utah Conference
UPHE helped produce the Lead Free Utah Conference, in collaboration with Salt Lake County, The Utah Lead Coalition and The American Academy of Pediatrics – Utah Chapter. This conference educated physicians about lead poisoning through presentations from national and local lead poisoning experts such as Dr. Mary Jean Brown, the former Chief of the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch at the CDC. Watch the YouTube playlist of the all presentations from the event here or by click the image below!
- Salt Lake County Lead Safe Housing https://slco.org/lead-safe-housing/
- Utah Lead Coalition https://utahleadcoalition.org/
- CDC: Managing Elevated Blood Levels Among Young Children: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/casemanagement/managingEBLLs.pdf
- CDC Lead Program https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/default.htm
- Deseret New Op Ed https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900075744/guest-opinion-utahns-should-be-more-diligent-in-testing-for-lead-poisoning.html