SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Workers began removing lead-based paint Thursday from houses more than seven decades old in Linda Vista, according to the city of San Diego's Housing Commission.
The work is being paid for by a $2.48 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will fund testing in around 175 houses and remediation efforts at 135 residences over the next three years.
The first house, at 1627 Coolidge St., was built in 1941, 37 years before lead-based paint was banned for residential use nationally.
"The work being done here today and in other San Diego homes protects low-income families from one of the top childhood environmental health problems," commission President and CEO Richard Gentry said. "This kind of intervention and blood lead screening will help achieve a major federal priority to eliminate childhood lead poisoning."
Linda Vista is one of several sections of San Diego where housing was quickly slapped together during the World War II-era as workers flooded into the local defense industry.
"Through this program the Housing Commission is helping to provide safer communities for all of our families that are in need," said Councilwoman Lorie Zapf. "And as a result of the grant, we can now test the homes of families who may have lead paint but cannot afford to remediate it themselves."
The grant will also pay for blood testing for 500 low-income children. According to the Environmental Health Coalition, lead-based paint and dust in older houses is the leading cause of lead poisoning, which can cause brain damage.
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