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      HUD to fund lead paint removal in Onondaga County

      Lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat to children, but it is expensive to remove.

      The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Field Office Director Joan Spilman met today with Syracuse City Commissioner of Community Development Paul Driscoll to announce major funding for the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County to help remove lead paint and other hazards from homes.

      The city of Syracuse received a $3 million award, and Onondaga County received $2.48 million in grants.

      Onondaga County received its grants through the Lead Based Hazard Control grant program and healthy homes supplemental funding. Syracuse received its grants through the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program, which provides funding to municipalities to eliminate lead paint hazards in privately-owned, low-income housing units.

      According to state statistics, the primary source of childhood lead poisoning in Syracuse is from exposure to lead paint and dust in homes built before 1978.

      Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems.

      Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development.

      At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

      Besides in old buildings, other sources include contaminated air, water and soil.

      The funding announced will play a major role in helping to protect Syracuse children from exposure to lead and other health hazards.

      Do you worry about lead in your neighborhood? Do you know anyone who has been affected by lead poisoning? Post your comments below.