Maine Families

This Week is Lead Poisoning Awareness Week

Lead poisoning graphic

Lead is the #1 environmental health hazard facing Maine children and one of the most serious health issues in Maine today.*

According to the Maine State Housing Authority, about 80% of all Maine homes and apartments built before 1978 have lead paint in them and 40% of those contain dangerously high levels of contamination.

Lead dust is the leading cause of lead poisoning. The dust is created by opening and closing doors and windows or walking up stairs that have lead paint on them.   Anywhere that causes friction on the paint can create lead dust. Lead paint dust is microscopic so you can’t see it, but it sticks to walls and surfaces and can be transferred by wiping or touching it. Children and pets are more likely to get paint dust on their bodies as they explore, play and climb against walls, stairs and furniture.

Click here to order a free lead testing kit that makes it easy to check if your paint has lead in it. If your test comes back positive, a lead expert will call you to talk about your lead problem and how to solve it.

There are many resources that can provide information on dealing with lead in your home, including identifying hazards, short term remedies to help reduce contamination, and long term solutions for lead paint removal. The Maine State Housing Authority can provide up to $16,000 for families who qualify to help pay for the safe removal of lead paint from their home. In Washington County contact WHCA for information on how to apply for these funds: 610-5954 or 259-5015.

You can also contact the following resources:
Lead Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD
Maine Department of Environmental Protection Lead Program at 287-2651 or 1-800-452-1942
The Department of Human Services Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 287-4311

* Source: Maine State Housing Authority