Blair gets $250K lead paint grant

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County has received a $250,000 grant to devote to the proper removal of lead-based paint from residences.

Commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said Tuesday that the county has been notified of the award by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

A few weeks ago, commissioners approved submission of the grant request, available through the state’s Healthy Homes program, for money that could allow the county’s Department of Social Services to keep helping county residential property owners interested in removing lead-based paint.

The county department previously received $85,750 that it is offering for efforts aimed at the removal of lead-based paint through the end of the year. Thereafter, the $250,000 grant will allow the county to keep offering the help.

In 2014, the state Department of Health analyzed blood tests levels involving children in 20 cities, including Altoona, and found that 1 in 5 children had too much lead in their blood.

The source of the problem has been linked to older housing units because they often have lead-based paint that has been identified as the cause of severe health issues linked to lead poisoning. The government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978.

Anyone interested in help with the removal of lead-based paint from a residence can contact the county Department of Social Services at 693-3023.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is 946-7456.