ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) – Lead poisoning is a serious problem in St. Lawrence County, according to the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department.

With most of the housing supply in St. Lawrence County being built before the ban on lead-based paint, many homes within the county may contain lead hazards. The health department said childhood lead exposure can cause a range of permanent health problems including brain damage, slowed growth, and development, learning and behavioral problems.

St. Lawrence County Public Health said proper renovation and mitigation methods can minimize or eliminate lead exposures.

Funding is available for construction projects for renovations to reduce lead hazards through the Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Control Grant. The grant was renewed for an additional year in St. Lawrence County and is implemented through a collaboration between St. Lawrence County Public Health, St. Lawrence County Planning Office and the North Country Housing Council.

The grant was awarded to the county largely because of an increased incidence of elevated lead levels in children between 2003 and 2012, according to the health department.

The HUD grant allows eligible families to receive funds for free renovations to reduce lead hazards in homes until October 2023.

To be eligible, households must meet income eligibility requirements and houses must:

  • be a home or rental located in St. Lawrence County;
  • be a home or rental built before 1978;
  • be home to a child under 6 years of age; and
  • be a home that a pregnant person lives in or visits the home often.

For further information or to fill out an application, contact the North Country Housing Council at 315-386-8576.