ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence County Public Health is providing residents with tips for lead-safe renovations.

The Public Health department reminded residents of the hazards that are associated with lead paint that may pose an issue when conducting renovations in their homes. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage, slowed growth and development, and low IQ.

SLCPH states it is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Currently, there are approximately 80 active cases of children with elevated blood lead levels within the county and the majority of the cases had lead hazards within the home.

Federal Law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces built before 1978 to be certified and follow
specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. However, those who are doing the work on their own are responsible for ensuring their family is safe.

Do-it-yourself home renovators are advised to seal off work areas with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from spreading, cover floors, furniture, and vents, mist materials to prevent dust, and only use sanders or grinders with HEPA filters or hand scrape. Public Health also told residents to not allow others back into the room until the renovation is completed and the space has been properly cleaned and wet clean after renovations.

HUD Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Funding is available for privately-owned housing units built
before 1978 that contain lead. Those with questions about the program or the grant process should call the
North Country Housing Council at 315-386-8576. More information on how to safely renovate can be found here.