Lead Safe Roanoke

What is Lead Safe Roanoke?

Lead Safe Roanoke is a HUD-funded program implemented by the City of Roanoke. The program is designed to reduce lead poisoning in children by stabilizing lead-based paint hazards found in rental and single-family homes built in the City of Roanoke prior to 1978.

Eligible applicants receive comprehensive services to identify and stabilize deteriorating lead-based paint hazards in their home and/or rental units.

What is Lead Poisoning?

  • Lead poisoning is a condition caused by swallowing lead-contaminated objects or breathing lead dust.

  • Lead poisoning is the nation’s #1 preventable environmental health problem facing children today.

  • Infants and children age 5 and under are most at risk for lead poisoning because their growing bodies absorb lead more easily than adults’ bodies. The younger the child, the greater the risk.

  There is NO safe level of lead in the body!

Where Does Lead Come From?

Paint chips and dust
Most lead hazards come from paint in homes built before 1978, especially if before 1950, and are most hazardous when paint is peeling or chipping.

Play areas can be contaminated by chips or dust from lead paint, as well as, lead from car batteries or past use of leaded gasoline.

Air may be contaminated by lead from dust created by sanding, scraping or burning to remove lead-based paint.

Water can be contaminated by lead pipes and lead solder used to connect plumbing. 

What Are the Effects of Lead Poisoning?

Most children show no symptoms, even at high levels.  If symptoms occur, they are often mistaken for the flu or other illnesses.

Low levels of lead within the body may cause:

  • Nervous system damage
  • Decreased muscle and bone growth
  • Diminished intelligence and lower IQ
  • Decreased hearing ability or complete hearing loss
  • Behavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactivity
  • Kidney damage

High levels of lead within the body may cause:

  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Death

The long-term effects of lead in a child can be severe.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Lead Poisoning?

Regular screening of blood for lead is the best way to detect lead poisoning. Have kids tested at ages 12 and 24 months!

Marla Robertson