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KCMO partners with K-State to reduce lead poisoning; wins $700K grant

Kansas State University
Posted at 9:55 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 10:57:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, has joined forces with Kansas State University, Children's Mercy Hospital and the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to reduce lead poisoning in urban areas and win a $700,000 grant.

The partnership will prioritize measuring the effectiveness of soil treatments, to prevent ground lead exposure, especially for children in Kansas City's urban core.

Lead poisoning rates in the city "exceed nine times the national average," according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The department is providing the grant.

“I have been having discussions with colleagues at K-State, Children’s Mercy and the EPA for about 10 years,” Kansas City, Missouri, Housing and Community Development Department Housing Review Officer Thomas Neff said. “I am proud of the work we put into the application and eager to see results from this multi-year project.”

K-State will have two research programs in Kansas City as part of the partnership.

The Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will work with families with children who have received lead poisoning or are at risk. The Brownfields Program will apply and study soil treatments to reduce lead on vacant lots in Kansas City.

“I strongly believe we will be able to develop protocols that enable redevelopment of urban neighborhoods more efficiently and effectively and at lower cost,” Neff said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing 18 universities, public health and housing organizations with a total of $15.7 million to study housing-related hazards.