New awareness effort on lead paint dangers to families

With spring cleaning and fixup season here, some new warnings about the dangers of lead paint:

First, there's a lot of the poisonous paint around: homes built as recently as 1978 could have it. But, the dangers--especially to young children--can be minimized.

Debra Lewis is the program coordinator for Onondaga County Health Department's lead program, and says that a new federal grant, going to both the county and the city of Syracuse, will help protect children from lead and other home hazards. She says there are lots of dangers in things we take for granted:

As you open your windows for warmer weather, if you have peeling or chipping paint in the window wells, chances are it's lead-contaminated. Take a WET rag to wipe away the chips and dust (a dry one will just spread the contaminated chips).

And, if you're doing home improvements in an older house, make sure young children and pregnant women are not close, and that you take precautions, including covering the contaminated area with heavy plastic to keep dust from blowing around.

You can read about the HUD grant announcement and much more on lead poison prevention, too