Although lead poisoning is preventable, it continues to be a problem for children, especially those living in or visiting homes built before 1978. In Orange County, NY, the greatest factor in childhood lead poisoning has been lead paint and lead dust related to old paint, but recently lead has been found in children’s toys, zipper pulls and candy from other countries.
Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. Lead can be found in dust, air, water, soil, and in some products used in and around our homes. Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead and can harm a young child's growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Children under six years old are more likely to get lead poisoning than any other age group. Most often, children get lead poisoning from breathing in or swallowing dust from old lead paint that gets on floors and windowsills, hands and toys. Lead can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy.Lead from surfaces that have been compromised in and around their residence should be a parent’s main concern regarding lead poisoning prevention.
Orange County has responded to the need for lead poisoning prevention by creating Lead Safe Orange, under which we coordinate our grant funded programs concerning lead poisoning and lead hazards found below.
- Is responsible for tracking all lead testing activity for children in Orange County between the ages of 6 months and 18 years and case manages all lead poisoned children in the county.
- Includes home visits, agency visits, presentations and health fairs to identify children who need testing and to provide information about health services for children.
- Provides case management services and an environmental evaluation using a lead paint analyzer for children with a venous lead level of >15 ug/dl and over; as well as educational visits to teach about lead hazards, prevention methods, health services and to ensure medical follow up for the child.
- Provides education to community groups, schools, health practitioners, OB/GYN, landlords and homeowners associations on methods to reduce or eliminate lead hazards and to prevent lead poisoning.
Can I test my child for lead?
Yes! It is a Public Health Law that EVERY child be tested at 1 AND 2 years of age. Remind your doctor to test your child!
- What Your Child's Blood Lead Test Means
- Get Ahead of Lead Factsheet
- Lead Poisoning is a Danger for Every Baby and Child: Here’s What You Should Know
- Are You Pregnant? Learn How to Protect You and Your Baby from Lead Poisoning (Spanish)
- More Lead Education and Information
The Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) is a primary prevention program providing public health services to targeted geographic areas with a high rate of documented unmet environmental health needs.
HNP staff provides education, literature and incentives to residents to assist in identifying and methods to control lead hazards, asthma triggers and management, tobacco cessation, indoor air quality, fire safety and other healthy homes issues. Currently this program runs only in the City of Newburgh, census tracts 3, 4 and 5, the City of Middletown census tracts 11, 12 and 14 and the City of Port Jervis.
How can I create a healthy environment for my family?
Please review the links below to help your family have a healthy living environment.
Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. It can limit a person’s quality of life. While we don’t know why asthma rates are rising, we do know that most people with asthma can control their symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding asthma triggers and correctly using prescribed medicines, such as inhaled corticosteroids.
The number of people diagnosed with asthma grew by 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009. From 2001 through 2009 asthma rates rose the most among black children, almost a 50% increase. Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007. About 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) have asthma, and the numbers are increasing every year. About 1 in 2 people (about 12 million) with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008, but many asthma attacks could have been prevented.
- Asthma in the U.S.
- Asthma and Schools
- Living Tobacco Free
- Indoor Air Quality
- Fire Safety
- Home Safe Home Safety Checklist
- Health and Safety in the Home, Workplace and Outdoors
HNP Target Area Information:
Lead Safe Orange is also working under Orange County Community Development with the HUD funded Lead Hazard Reduction Program and the Healthy Homes Initiative.
These programs have three major preventive goals: to have more children tested for lead poisoning throughout the county, secure more lead safe housing for the children of Orange County and to help create healthier living environments within the home.
For any HUD Funding Questions please contact:
- Orange County Community Development - 845-651-3811
- Orange County Department of Health - 845-360-6687
- Instructions for filling out and submitting a HUD Application
- Income Requirements
- Landlord Application
- Owner-Occupied Application
- Tenant Application
- Relocation Allowance Form
- Visiting Child Verification Form
- Consent Form for Use of Photos
- Healthy Homes Initiative
- 7 Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home
- Healthy Homes 29 Points
- A Healthy Home Checklist
- Help Yourself to a Healthy Home
The CLPPP works with the City of Newburgh’s Census Tracts 3, 4 and 5, the City of Middletown’s Census Tracts 11, 12, 15 and 151 and the City of Port Jervis and identifies housing at greatest risk of lead-paint hazards and taking action to make them lead safe through lead paint inspection and enforcement. This program offers free training through the Office of Community Development on lead awareness, lead safe work practices and the new EPA Renovation, Repair and Remodeling Rule to contractors, property owners, childcare providers, parents, residents, and landlords. The CLPPP works in conjunction with the Office of Community Development to offer qualified property owners access to funds to make their homes lead safe. The program conducts assessments of housing (HNP) and refers properties to the in-house Public Health Sanitarian for follow up.
The primary goal of CLPPP involves identifying housing at greatest risk of lead-paint hazards. This program is working towards developing partnerships and community engagement to promote primary prevention of childhood lead poisoning and interventions to create lead-safe housing units. Housing units within the above mentioned census tracts will be targeted with home visits and door-to-door outreach, followed by mandatory free lead inspections. These same inspections will also be conducted based on referrals from DSS, WIC, local code enforcement and community development, as well as from other programs in the LHD. PPP also focuses on Building Lead-Safe Work Practice (LSWP) workforce capacity, and identifying community resources for lead-hazard control. CLPPP offers free training on lead awareness and lead safe work practices to contractors, property owners, childcare providers, parents, residents, and landlords.
How do I know if my home has lead?
In order to find out if your home has lead, a special machine called an XRF is used. To find out if you qualify for a free lead inspection contact us at 845-360-6680.