The goal of the Ulster County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is to protect your family from lead. We provide free home lead inspections and educate the community about the dangers of lead-based paint, how lead affects our bodies, how to identify lead paint hazards and how to use lead safe work practices to appropriately deal with lead paint hazards, so that we have no more lead poisoned kids.
Lead is not good for anyone. However, it is most dangerous to children aged 6 or younger and to pregnant women. Kids can get lead into their bodies by swallowing lead-paint dust or flakes through normal hand-to-mouth activity or by breathing in lead dust or eating paint chips. Very young kids who crawl on the floor and put their hands and toys in their mouths are at the highest risk.
Lead poisoning is serious. It can damage the brain and cause permanent learning and behavioral problems. Even low levels are harmful. Environments with deteriorated lead based paint that is chipping or peeling are hazardous. Disturbing lead paint through renovation also creates lead hazards.
Kingston is the main area targeted for services because it has the highest annual incidence of Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) in Ulster County. As the first capital of New York, the city has some of the oldest housing stock in the country. Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint on both interior and exterior surfaces. More than 86.9% of housing in the Kingston was built before 1950, so the potential for lead exposure is high.
The Ulster County Department of Health is one of 15 counties awarded the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program (CLPPPP) grant by New York State to combat lead poisoning.
Free Home Lead Inspections
UCDOH provides free home lead inspections to anyone in the 12401 zip code. Landlords, tenants, or private homeowners can contact us directly to schedule an appointment. Tenants receive $100 in free cleaning supplies when an inspection is performed inside their home. If lead hazards are found, wet cleaning will temporarily reduce the hazards until they can be remediated.
Doctors, nurses or home visiting agencies also contact us to request inspections for their clients. In addition, free inspections are available everywhere in Ulster County for families whose child has an elevated blood lead level of 5-14 micrograms per deciliter of blood.
Lead Renovator Certification Classes
These classes comply with the EPA Renovate Repair and Paint Rule. Classes are open to anyone performing work on older housing and schools; however, priority is given to owners of homes that have been identified as having lead hazards. The goal is to create a workforce that understands and uses lead-safe work practices to create healthy homes and a healthy community
Remediation supplies are provided to landlords/property owners who have successfully completed the Lead Renovator Certification class. Owners also qualify for the supplies by hiring a lead certified contractor to make the repairs. For a list of local EPA Lead Certified firms, click here.
The supplies may include; respirators rated for lead, primer, paint brushes and rollers, Tyvek suits and booties, and floor enamel.
Test Your Kids, Test Yourself
New York State requires blood lead level tests for all children aged 1 and 2 years old. It’s very important for parents to get their children tested because it’s the only way to know if a child has lead in his/her body. Even a kid, who seems healthy and has no symptoms, could have lead in his/her body. Possible symptoms include fatigue, irritability, headache, constipation, stomachache, cramps, vomiting and weight loss. Caregivers can talk to their doctor to request a blood lead level test for children of any age who live in, or spend significant time, in a house built before 1978.
If you are a woman who is pregnant or considering getting pregnant, ask your doctor for a blood lead level test. Lead from a mother’s blood can pass to her unborn baby and cause harm.
RUPCO (Rural Ulster Preservation Company)/
Guide to Housing Resources in Ulster County
The Childhood Lead Program provides education and information to the public, medical providers and community organizations, call 845-340-3090.
For FREE home lead inspections, contact Donna Greenfield by email or by phone at 845-340-3047.