Norwich city leaders apply for a lead hazard control grant

Norwich, Conn. (WTNH)– Norwich city leaders have applied for a Lead Hazard Control Federal Grant. They need more money for a program to test homes for lead, and keep residents safe.
“Each community has their own way of dealing with it. More financially stressed communities like ours, we need help,” said Wayne Sharkey, the Lead Program Manager with the City of Norwich.

Sharkey said that in two recent cases, children tested positive for lead during routine physicals.

“It was from hand-to-mouth contact with lead paint chips and lead paint dust,” Sharkey said.

The city tested their homes for lead.

Community Development Supervisor, Gary Evans added, “There were elevations called hot spots located within the housing units.” In the last six years the city of Norwich created over 250 lead-safe houses, but the city needs funding to deal with lead paint in older homes.

“Anything built prior to 1978 typically has or may have some type of lead poisoning associated with it or lead based paint,” added Evans. It is not just in Norwich, either. Sharkey said many people throughout the state are living with lead paint in their homes.

“If it was built before 1978, unless it has been a gut rehab its most likely got lead in it,” Sharkey said.

If you think your house has lead hazards Sharkey suggested cleaning up any paint chips and using lead cleaner on floors, window frames and other surfaces.

“It’s a story that’s not in the forefront of everyone’s mind until a child gets poisoned. You’ll hear a lot a rhetoric and I hear it, oh, I grew up in a house that’s leaded and nothing happened to me. You’re lucky. Because when it does happen to you it happens for life,” he said.

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