Allegheny Co. Health Department Expands In-Home Lead Investigations

Jennifer Bloodworth
June 12, 2018 - 5:16 pm
Worker Scraping Paint

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department announced Tuesday that it will expand in-home lead contamination investigations next week.

Beginning Monday, June 18, lead investigations will be available to all families with children under six-years-old with confirmed venous blood lead tests greater or equal to five micrograms per deciliter regardless of income. The former limit was 10 micrograms.

The ACHD will also offer these services to families with children under 6 with a confirmed venous blood test with five micrograms or higher within three months of June 18 on a case-by-case basis. These families should contact the Housing and Community Environment program (412-350-4046) with proof of a recent qualifying result.

In-home lead investigations involve six steps:

1) A visual inspection

2) Testing of accessible surfaces in the home with the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyzer, which identifies if there is lead on surfaces such as paint, varnishes and stains

3) Dust, soil, and water sampling

 4) A survey to help identify potential sources and an education session with the parent(s) or guardian(s)

5) A risk assessment report

6) Referrals to other services that the family for which the family may be eligible

For the home's owner, the risk assessment report is a recommendation. For tenant-occupied housing the landlord will be required to make the home lead-safe. The Health Departments says it will pursue enforcement in the case of non-compliance.

The Health Department says it is important to screen for potential sources of lead exposure, but primary prevention is critical. View the Lead Task Force’s recommendations here and learn more about the ACHD’s prevention approach here.

KDKA Radio's Joe DeStio contributed to this article. 
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