City health department offering free lead paint removal

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 19:15:08-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department is offering free services to rid homes of lead paint.

More than half of the homes in Kansas City, Missouri were built before 1978, which means there’s a higher chance they have lead paint.

The home the health department took 41 Action News to on Wednesday was built more than a hundred years ago, so it was no surprise that lead paint was in multiple places.

“The way it’s chipping is really typical for lead paint. It has the striations, which means stripes, and so it chips in straight lines and squares,” Amy Roberts said, who works in the department for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Healthy Homes Program.

You’ll most likely find lead paint on window sills, siding, trim, and doors.

Windows are where kids are most likely to be exposed.

“It’s a perfect height for little ones, especially toddlers. Two-year-olds have the highest risk,” Roberts said.

Kids living in certain zip codes in KC are more likely to have high lead levels in their blood. The health department said kids’ levels should not be over a "5."

These are the zip codes: 64109, 64110, 64123, 64124, 64127, 64128, 64130, 64132, 64134.

Lead paint can cause learning disabilities, organ damage, and other complications in children, especially if they live in poverty and have poor nutrition.

The city will be able to reach more people because of new $3 million grant from the Housing and Urban Development department.

“We’ll offer free home repair and we have certified, licensed contractors to come to the house, and they’ll do painting and window replacement. Sometimes we’ll do vinyl siding work and landscaping,” Roberts said.

The health department expects to tackle 152 properties.

Homeowners don’t have to pay a dime. If you rent, then the property owner would pay 25 percent of the repairs.

If you don’t fall within those nine zip codes, you still have some cheap options.

“Keeping the chipping paint clean and painted will decrease the risk for kids,” Roberts said.

The city will start remediation around March.