Originally Posted By: gromicko
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(April 14, 2004) – The White House’s proposed budget for fiscal 2005 would take away $35 million from the nation’s lead poisoning prevention program–which absorbs the cost of professional home evaluations and repairs in an effort to protect children from exposure to dust, soil, or paint particles containing toxic lead.
Crumbling paint in older properties is the leading culprit in lead exposure; and affected young people can experience developmental, behavioral, and psychiatric problems as a result. Advocacy organizations warn that the 20-percent funding reduction in HUD's prevention program--from $174 million this year to $139 million--could prevent as many as 40,000 U.S. homes from reaching lead-safe status in 2005.
HUD's David E. Jacobs, however, reports that the administration remains committed to solving the childhood lead poisoning problem. Cases of lead poisoning among children under age 6 has declined from more than 890,000 a decade ago to 434,000 as of 2000, he notes; and the number of homes nationwide containing lead paint dropped from 64 million to 38 million between 1990 and 2000.
To offset the reduced funding next year, Jacobs says his agency will ask real estate companies, banks, foundations, and other private-sector interests to step up their financial involvement in lead remediation.
Source: Washington Post (04/11/04); Goldstein, Avram