Reports of high levels of lead in children in two zip codes in Southeast Fresno have raised new concerns about the health of young residents.
A report by the news agency Reuters found that in one zip code, the percentage of children with high lead exposure is three times that of Flint, Michigan.
Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess spoke with county Public Health Director David Pomaville about why rates are so high and what is being done about it.
In part, Pomaville says they are doing more outreach but are also looking to the federal government for help.
There are some measures that can be taken, low cost measures that can be taken, to remove any chipping or peeling paint. And at least, on an interim basis, seal that back so it is not creating an ongoing exposure.
The complete removal is more expensive. Our estimate are between $12,000 and $15,000 in a home to remediate lead.
We have just applied for a million dollars in funding from a Housing and Urban Development program at a federal level to help Fresno homeowners mitigate lead in their homes. So we should be hearing whether we are awarded one of those grants later this year. We think in October of 2017.
Hear the complete interview above.