Clark County to address 22 homes with lead paint using $1.2 million grant

Owners, renters whose home was built before 1978 and who meets income requirements is eligible to apply.

Credit: Clark County Combined Health District

Credit: Clark County Combined Health District

Clark County will use state funds to provide lead abatement services to about 22 area homes built before 1978 — when lead-based paints were banned for residential use.

The county received a $1.27 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development called Lead Safe Ohio, and it is allowed to spend $50,000 per home, Dirk Lackovich-Van Gorp, grants manager with Clark County Community and Economic Development, said. Work is expected to begin this month or next.

Lackovich-Van Gorp said residents who own or rent their homes and have an income of 80% of less of the area median income are eligible to apply.

Caroline Quelette, Clark County Combined Health District’s health planner for Ohio Lead-Safe Homes, said those most affected are children aged 6 and younger who spend at least 6 hours a week in a property built before 1978, have immigrated from another country, are from low-income households and have a close relationship with or spend a lot of time with an adult who has a job or hobby that exposes them to lead.

Lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, stunted growth and behavioral problems, learning issues, and hearing and speech problems, Quelette said.

“Developing these health effects can result in lower IQ, behavioral problems, attention issues and difficulty in school,” Quelette said.

Pregnant women also face an elevated risk.

Nate Smith, health district communications coordinator, said there are 64 current lead cases at 3.5-4.9 micrograms per deciliter. There are 145 at 5 or higher, he said.

A level of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter is considered elevated, but any level of lead exposure can cause damage. Children at this level are told to eat a diet high in iron and calcium, and their lifestyles are assessed to discover from where they are exposed, Quelette said.

Lead must be abated, or removed, by a licensed lead abatement contractor after an inspection. Lackovich-Van Gorp said an inspector with the Neighborhood Housing Partnership will work with the county for these homes.

According to a release from the county, the Lead Safe Ohio Program is “part of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s ongoing efforts to make more of Ohio’s homes lead safe for children and families.” In total, the program is investing $150 million toward state and local lead poisoning prevention efforts.

Lead renovation projects can include window and door replacements, siding, soffit and fascia installation, interior and exterior painting, interior door replacements and cleaning, according to the release.

The abatement on the 22 homes will take about 20 months, Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

“The most important safety item is for children six and under in those homes,” Lackovich-Van Gorp said.

For more information or to apply for funding, visit

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