Protect Hays County Children from Lead Poisoning

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Was your home built before 1978? Did you know that nearly half of Hays county homes are? Pre-1978 homes contain lead in paint and nearby soil, a known poison to a fetus and child’s brain that has proven to cause ADHD and lower IQ--one point for only ONE unit of lead exposure. That’s 5 IQ points for just a lead level of 5! The US government has funds available to help families with children get rid of the lead in their homes/yards, and both cities and counties can apply. Sadly, often only big cities apply (like Austin and San Antonio), which leaves residents outside city limits, and in rural areas, vulnerable to financial crises and major health risks for their family when they cannot afford the costly fixes (10-30K on average). Hays County is especially vulnerable because it’s growing crazy fast and houseflippers demo or remodel without checking for lead and without lead-safe renovation precautions. So they sell these houses that look remodeled and safe to families with small children, when really these houses are still very dangerous inside and in the soil outside from the renovation. Or sell new houses with contaminated soil beneath. Because sanding, paint-scraping,demolition, and sawing all contaminate homes and yards. So does building new on lots that had an older structure (houses, barns, etc) that burned down once.

I took some graduate courses in public health before becoming a mama myself, and my heart is sick over the hundreds of children in our own county that have lead building up in their brain tissue. There is no cure--the lead stays forever in their brain. As of now Hays County has never applied for those available funds for its citizens to get rid of the lead. Adding your voice to ours will hopefully lead to the county applying for these 2 grants: the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant, and Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control grant. And you will make a huge difference for years to come in the lives of children who live in homes built before 1978 with lead in them.



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