The City of Fitchburg is a partnering with NewVue Communities, Montachusett Opportunity Council, Montachusett Public Health Network, and the participating communities of Gardner, Clinton, and Athol to form The Montachusett Regional Lead Paint Hazard Control Program. This Grant will provide funding to low and moderate income owner-occupants and investors who rent to low income tenants in these four communities to remove Lead Paint Hazards from their homes. Applications are now being accepted for the program.
Press Inquiries: Dorothy Preston
Program Manager, City of Fitchburg
166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Applicant Contact: Shannon Erb
Intake Specialist, NewVue Communities
470 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems. Those most likely at risk are children 6 years and younger, pregnant women and unborn child, and people living in houses that are being renovated.
When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability, but often, children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms at all.
Lead dust and lead paint in old homes can poison children. When old paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust which can come from opening and closing old windows. There are risks both inside and outside the home. Deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and becomes tracked in. Children may become lead poisoned by:
- Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths.
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint.
- Playing in lead-contaminated soil.
The Lead Law protects families with children 6 years old and under who live in a home built before 1978. If there is lead paint in the home, the owner must use licensed professionals to make it safe.
The Montachusett Regional Lead Paint Hazard Control Program has published a brochure on Lead Paint Hazards that can be distributed freely in your community. The brochure can be downloaded as a PDF file from: http://newvuecommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Lead-Paint_HUD-Brochure_NEW.pdf.
Lead Poisoning is a serious societal issue and one that all of us need to address. These are tough times. Help make them easier for a child at risk.