Fort Worth Lead-Safe

 

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Creating lead-safe environments for Fort Worth families

The Lead-Safe Program provides lead hazard reduction home repair services to create a lead-safe environment for the children and residents of Fort Worth. The program helps income-eligible residents protect children from lead when they live or spend extended periods of time in a home with deteriorated lead-based paint.

Participation in the program will require a paint inspection of the property to determine presence of lead-based paint hazards. 

 

What services does the program provide?

  • Inspection and risk assessment of the property for lead-based paint.
  • Healthy Homes Inspection.
  • If deteriorated lead-based paint is identified, the work may include:
  • Painting of interior and/or exterior surfaces
  • Possible replacement of components such as doors, windows or siding.
  • Repairs of urgent health and safety conditions.

 

How can I participate in the program?

The property must be located in the City of Fort Worth and built before 1978.

• The owner of the property must agree to participate in the program. Rental properties may be eligible.

• A child under the age of six lives in the home OR spends at least six hours a week plus 60 hours a year in the home or a pregnant woman is living in the home.

• The total household yearly income (including all adults living in the home) must be at or below the following: 

 

Two Ways to Apply

 

 Online

Mail-In Application 

Homeowners and renters can apply for the Lead-Safe Program. 
Use the online form below for fastest results.

Lead-Safe Online Application

Download and print the Mail-In Application.

Available in both English and Spanish.

 

Eligibility

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Program Eligibility 

To participate in the Lead-Safe Program:

  • The owner of the property must agree to participate in the program
  • The property must have been built before 1978, and be located within the City of Fort Worth
  • One or more children under the age of 6 lives or spends at least 3 hours daily in the home twice a week or at least 60 hours a year in the home or a pregnant woman lives in the home.
  • Lead-Safe Program staff must perform an inspection/ risk assessment, and find a lead-based paint hazard.
  • Homes that need more than $5,000 in additional repairs to preserve the Lead-Safe Program work will be denied
  •  The yearly income for all adults living in the home must be at or below 80% Annual Median Income. The following table outlines current program income limits.

     

Household Size

Annual Income

Household Size

Annual Income

1

$45,300

5

$69,850

2

$51,750

6

$75,000

3

$58,200

7

$80,200

4

$64,650

8

$85,350

What?

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What Is Lead? 

Lead is metal that is highly toxic when taken into the body through breathing, eating or drinking. Lead was commonly used in paint until it was banned for residential use in 1978. As old lead-based paint flakes, chips, or turns to dust, lead can contaminate surfaces throughout your home.

Lead is especially dangerous to children under six years old because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects. Young children can become lead poisoned by breathing in lead dust or putting contaminated objects like toys and paint chips in their mouth.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, lead poisoning is the primary environmental hazard faced by children in Texas today. Children from all social and economic levels can be affected by lead poisoning, although children living in poverty and who live in older housing are at greatest risk.

Source: Texas Department of State Health Services, “Toward a Lead-Safe Texas: Texas Strategic plan to Eliminate Child Poisoning by 2010,” March 2007.

Where?

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What is Lead Found?

Lead is found in most homes built before 1978 in the form of:

  • Lead-based paint — Lead-based paint is a hazard if it’s peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking. Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-based paint releases its lead, which then mixes with household dust and soil. Even lead-based paint that appears to be undisturbed can be a problem if it covers surfaces that children may chew or that get a lot of wear and tear such as windows, windowsills, doors, stairs, railings, banisters, porches, and fences.
  • Dust — Dust can become contaminated with lead when lead-based paint is dry-scraped or sanded. Dust can also become contaminated when older painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or that children put into their mouths.
  • Soil — Soil can become contaminated by flaking or peeling lead-based paint on older buildings. Soil near roadways may also be contaminated by past use of leaded gasoline in cars. Avoid these areas when planting vegetable gardens.
  • Water — Lead can leach into the water at any temperature, but the amount of lead can be much greater when the water is hot or warm. Don’t drink or cook with water from a “hot” faucet if you live in an older home or think you have lead plumbing fixtures.

Other known sources of lead include, but are not limited to:

  • Home remedies like azarcon and greta, which are used for upset stomach or indigestion
  • Lead found in wrappers of some candies that have been imported from Mexico
  • Lead glazes on pottery

Source: Adapted from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Runs better unleaded. How to Protect Your Children From Lead Poisoning.” August 1999.

Why?

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Why is Lead Dangerous?

When ingested or inhaled as dust, lead poses a serious health risk to young children. Exposure to lead is associated with a range of serious health effects, including:

  • brain, nervous system and kidney damage
  • learning disabilities
  • poor muscle coordination
  • slower growth
  • hearing losses
  • speech, language, and behavior problems.

While low-level exposure is most common, exposure to high levels can have devastating effects including seizures, unconsciousness, and even death.

Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Lead can also harm children without causing any obvious symptoms.

Source: Adapted from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Runs better unleaded. How to Protect Your Children From Lead Poisoning.” August 1999.

Safety Tips

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Lead Safety Tips

  Follow these steps to protect your children’s health. If your home was built before 1978:

  • Keep your children away from peeling, chipping, or flaking paint.
  • Do not allow your children to chew on painted surfaces, such as windowsills.
  • Get your children’s blood lead level tested. Children who have high blood levels of lead may appear healthy.
  • Keep your home clean by washing floors and windowsills weekly. Clean up paint chips using a wet sponge or rag. Completely rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Frequently wash your child’s hands, toys, bottles, pacifiers, clothes, and stuffed animals to reduce exposure.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering home to avoid tracking in lead form soil.
  • Have children play in grassy areas instead of bare soil.
  • Avoid using home remedies that contain lead, such as Azarcon and Greta
  • Use cold tap water for drinking and preparing meals since lead is more likely to leach into warm or hot water. Let the tap water run for 15-30 seconds before drinking it.
  • Make sure your family eats a well-balanced diet low in fat and high in calcium and iron (fish, green, vegetables, milk and cheese) to reduce absorption of lead into the body.