HEALTH DEPARTMENT: INTERGOVERNMENTAL LEAD PAINT INITIATIVES

2-B
HEALTH DEPARTMENT: INTERGOVERNMENTAL LEAD PAINT INITIATIVES

 

Problem Identification:
Lead paint continues to represent a serious health risk to Baltimore’s citizens.

Recommended Action:
Continue to develop intergovernmental initiatives, particularly in conjunction with the City’s housing-related entities, to mitigate the negative effects of lead paint.

Classification:
Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
Environmental Health

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Cost:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
Ongoing

Next Steps:
The Department, in cooperation with other City departments, must develop a fully integrated approach to managing issues related to lead paint. This should include consolidating lead paint-related functions under the administration of one department and studying potential legislative remedies such as requiring the certification of homes as being ‘lead free’ prior to sale.

Analysis:
Exposure to lead-based paint represents a significant health risk for children under the age of six. Certain levels of exposure can lead to an increased risk of behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The Department currently has staff that inspects homes to detect the presence of lead paint, test children for lead poisoning, and provides case management services to infected clients. These efforts have intensified in recent years leading to increases in the number of children tested and homes abated.

Despite the increased prevalence of this issue, more needs to be done. Opportunities for improvement include collaboration with the Baltimore City Public School System, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Baltimore City Housing Authority on targeted outreach efforts. The City’s management of health and housing issues related to lead paint could serve as an initial focus of the Human Services Cabinet (as described in Recommendation 2-A).