Resources for Homeowners & Renters

​​​​​​​​

LeadSafe Charlotte Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control

Lead is a toxic metal. Lead paint, the primary source of lead poisoning, creates invisible lead dust and paint chips, which can cause permanent damage to the developing central nervous system if ingested or inhaled. Children can get lead poisoning in many ways, including chewing on windowsills, floors, toys or contaminated soil, or putting their hands in their mouths after touching a contaminated area. Pets that play in contaminated soil can also harm your children.

When funding is available, LeadSafe Charlotte provides grants to assist low-income homeowners with addressing unsafe lead paint conditions that pose a potential health hazard to young children. The program is designed to assist owners of single and multi-family dwellings and investor owners of properties with two or more bedrooms. Some of the services we offer for those who qualify:

  • Free lead inspections at your home
  • Free blood testing of children (finger stick)
  • Free remediation of lead hazards at your home or rental property

Since the program's inception in 1998, the City of Charlotte has received over $17 million to reduce lead hazards in over 2,000 homes. 

Here is a list of homes made safe through LeadSafe Charlotte during the past five years.​

Check out this great video on the dangers of lead poisoning.

​0:11
[Music]
0:18
if I was gonna describe blood poisoning
0:21
of children in one word I would say
0:22
horrific poison that's what it is it's
0:26
poison lead poisoning is the perfect
0:30
predator it's somebody we don't like
0:32
very much it's a monster tragic it hides
0:36
under your bed scares the living crap
0:38
out of you because you don't believe
0:40
it's there and then it rears its ugly
0:43
head and it gives you nightmares
0:48
we have a legacy to deal with and the
0:51
legacy is that we used lead in our
0:55
products for a long period of time
0:57
during one of the largest expansions of
0:59
housing stock in America and generally
1:02
post-world War two is still there any
1:06
home built before 1978 should be treated
1:09
as though there is potential for
1:11
exposure to let base paint or other led
1:13
hazard lead-based elevations whether
1:16
it's oil whether it's through spices and
1:19
cosmetics old deteriorated paint can be
1:21
an issue to anybody I find that
1:24
frustrating I find it frustrating on
1:27
level of both being a physician being a
1:30
parent and a community member we should
1:33
be doing better and I think as we look
1:35
across the country this is not just
1:38
related to my community this is related
1:40
to many many many communities we need to
1:43
have an approach that will eliminate
1:46
this issue
1:49
I first learned that I was led poisoning
1:51
I think when I was in elementary school
1:53
when I actually finally understood what
1:55
it meant to have had lead poisoning and
1:57
how it affected my learning and I was
2:00
slower in the learning aspect than the
2:03
other students I don't know how to feel
2:05
about it I started to fail my math class
2:08
and just really hard and I wanted to
2:11
drop out in fifth grade and I said no
2:14
it's not happy about that's she was done
2:18
she didn't want to go anymore
2:19
she hated school on top of being bullied
2:21
but not being able to focus and feeling
2:24
different when I was gonna elementary
2:26
school is about harder for me to learn
2:27
and I felt like the other kids were
2:30
smarter than me and better than me and
2:32
everything but it
2:33
I was just slower at learning like in
2:36
fifth grade I was in the special
2:38
education reading class and mom would
2:40
work out with me at home on reading and
2:42
then at the end of the fifth grade I was
2:44
in the highest reading class but I did
2:47
feel
2:51
my nonverbal communication to Keanu was
2:54
non-existent you know I could be in
2:56
public and you give that mom look and
2:58
her brother would get it and her sister
3:00
being a baby would get it and she would
3:01
just be like what let is very sweet
3:04
tasting so when kids get a taste of it
3:07
that's why they'll continue to do it we
3:09
moved into a new place a year ago
3:12
September it was an old house built in
3:14
1869 I noticed that there were a lot of
3:17
peeling paint the house is old so
3:19
naturally that paint was going to be LED
3:21
she peeled it off the door she ate some
3:24
and she gave it to her brother and the
3:27
way we found out is that we were in the
3:28
house two weeks
3:29
Gabriel our boy had a routine blood draw
3:32
the doc called me and he said that your
3:35
kids levels are higher than anyone my
3:37
office is seen my name is Aaron my son's
3:40
name is Christopher and he's 9 wonderful
3:43
happy child and we've known that he was
3:46
autistic since before he was 2 we were
3:50
questioning other things that were going
3:52
on with him if there was a dual
3:53
diagnosis or if there were other issues
3:56
and we lived in a home that was built in
3:59
1853
4:00
it was brownstone on you know very
4:02
populated Street there was plenty of
4:04
other homes like it once we found out
4:07
that there was lead in the home we went
4:09
and got him tested he came out with very
4:11
high blood levels and that part of the
4:13
story began we did the math and how long
4:16
it could have been in there and
4:17
everything kind of started making sense
4:19
the behaviors that came with unable Ness
4:22
to communicate he was getting very
4:24
frustrated because he wanted to come out
4:26
with something but then with the
4:28
research that I've done they do believe
4:30
that that was a big reason why
4:32
Christopher is not
4:34
[Music]
4:37
gonna be a little advanced Griffin was
4:43
about five enemy someone's about three
4:46
when we found out we got a call from the
4:48
health department
4:49
telling me that Griffin came in with a
4:51
lead level of 86 and Mason came with a
4:57
load level of 27 so I had no idea how
5:01
serious the numbers were I was extremely
5:07
angry I was angry that the world was
5:12
angry at you know the owner of the home
5:15
I was angry at everything and I needed
5:17
answers he wasn't speaking he was not
5:21
understanding simple concepts he was
5:26
screening a lot he couldn't be around a
5:28
lot of people so this is the first night
5:32
he doesn't get to eat the walls you know
5:35
the cardboard or the materials that's
5:39
got the lead in it so he's like going
5:43
through withdrawal almost like like an
5:48
addict going cold turkey Jonah is my
5:52
second son when the weather was nice he
5:55
would run his cars back and forth in the
5:57
window for hours watching the cars drive
6:00
by and it made him the happiest little
6:02
boy in the world and that is where Jonah
6:06
contracted lead from when they tested my
6:09
window sill it was full of lead so every
6:13
time those cars went in his mouth as
6:15
they normally do for an 18 month old
6:18
child's he was putting more led into his
6:20
body and I had no idea they told me that
6:24
I was gonna have to have him
6:25
hospitalized
6:26
they wanted to be in chelation
6:28
immediately and they sent people out
6:31
from the county to check the house which
6:33
I was also running a home-based daycare
6:35
from I'd tell all my clients your
6:37
children are at risk so I insisted that
6:40
they have their children tested it is
6:42
part of my program requirement from the
6:44
time that he was 18 months old till he
6:46
was four years old he had blood level
6:50
testing weekly and then monthly and then
6:53
every three months so he knew what was
6:56
coming and it was horrifying for him he
6:59
started biting he had never been a biter
7:02
before sometimes he would kind of just
7:04
sit there and stare off in space which
7:06
wasn't at all age-appropriate for an 18
7:09
month old child's it took over his body
7:12
again you feel so guilty because I
7:15
willingly I got a good deal in the house
7:17
I wanted to move in you know right away
7:20
and I did and my children paid the price
7:22
for it I had no idea something something
7:26
so like not talked about some things so
7:29
like under the surface like let you know
7:32
just hit change my life like that I have
7:40
my children's lives like that this isn't
7:42
something that's not common knowledge
7:44
you're not taught about this and in any
7:46
type of parenting class you're not
7:48
taught this in in life or you know
7:51
you've heard about it when you were a
7:52
child or growing up and cases of lead
7:55
poisoning but you never think it's gonna
7:57
happen to you
7:58
I tried to protect my son I really did
8:01
like I thought I was doing the right
8:02
thing when I go to the doctor's office
8:05
and they sent they give me a piece of
8:07
paper and they're like is your child
8:10
exposed to lead or is your child
8:13
eating non food I think I'm protecting
8:16
him by saying no no no no no no no I
8:19
think I'm protecting him by telling him
8:23
he has no speech problems he doesn't
8:26
have any communication problems he's
8:30
okay
8:31
I thought I was protecting him but I
8:34
really wasn't as with everything in
8:37
being a parent you have to advocate your
8:40
child is not gonna go up to the doctor
8:42
or the school nurse the teachers say you
8:44
know by the way I think I may have lead
8:47
poisoning in the doctors offices you
8:50
need to go in and say I know that my
8:52
child needs to be tested his teachers
8:55
are saying that this kind of thing is
8:56
going on I needed to check it out just
8:59
don't sit back if you go to your
9:02
physician to your pediatrician and you
9:04
say I think my house contains lead it's
9:06
an old house could we please get a
9:08
script to be tested for lead if any
9:10
pediatrician is not willing or downplays
9:13
that you need to find another
9:16
pediatrician to insist on it so I've
9:18
seen children that have suffered
9:20
everything from bone damage to kidney
9:22
damage all of the children that I've
9:25
represented suffer from cognitive
9:28
impairments have horrific behavioral
9:32
issues a child who may be as poisoned at
9:35
age one or age two they may not actually
9:38
have the cognitive issues until they've
9:42
reached an age where testing becomes
9:45
difficult where they have to sit down
9:47
and really concentrate on a subject for
9:49
a long period of time once they get it
9:50
down to a lower level parents sort of
9:53
think they're out of the woods and what
9:55
they don't realize is that the problems
9:57
will manifest as the child becomes a
10:01
little bit older and the schoolwork
10:02
becomes more difficult a lot of times
10:04
it's very confusing to families to
10:07
understand how you know a child just
10:10
playing in the ground is going to get
10:12
sick because that's what kids do you
10:15
know they play outside so not knowing
10:17
how it occurs where it comes from how
10:20
children can get exposed to it it's very
10:22
foreign and even though it's been around
10:24
for many many years people still don't
10:27
attribute it and understand it and say
10:30
it's not happening here at our home a
10:32
mother that is exposed to lead during a
10:35
pregnancy will have
10:37
the ability to pass some of that
10:39
exposure to a child or unborn child and
10:42
that can affect their development and it
10:45
can be devastating in many ways lead
10:48
poisoning for a child makes a big
10:49
difference in the outcome for their life
10:51
so a newborn child has a potential and
10:55
that potential is really unlimited and
10:59
all the things that they might be able
11:00
to do or accomplish and as we watch our
11:03
children grow we think about their
11:05
particular talents and what they might
11:06
be able to do and we see a life path for
11:10
them I've looked at that myself with my
11:12
own children but we also have to
11:14
consider what happens to the child who's
11:16
been led poisoned that path takes an
11:19
abrupt turn that path never is fulfilled
11:22
to the level that it could be fulfilled
11:24
and they will have a whole different
11:27
outcome on their life and child who is
11:30
not with poison they are disruptive they
11:33
may sit and they made jiggle or they may
11:35
go like this or twirl their hair they
11:38
may tap they may get up make them look
11:41
out the window they make talk out loud
11:43
they may hit hit punch it's like Bing
11:47
Bing Bing Bing Bing all the time
11:48
shortening shooting just click click
11:51
with and it's taking you from here to
11:54
here and not being able to just take
11:57
that deep breath relax and get a grip on
11:59
what's going on there's been a lot of
12:01
research done that that indicates that
12:03
as children who are lead poisoned get
12:05
older they have a slew of behavioral
12:08
issues they've lost a great amount of
12:10
impulse control they have very little
12:13
ability to respect authority figures
12:16
they're not getting the education that
12:17
they need the research has shown that
12:19
children that are lead poisoned are much
12:22
more likely to become criminals there
12:26
has to be a strong correlation that
12:28
these people are intoxicated with lead
12:30
and making bad decisions winding up in
12:32
jail if we could fix the lead issue it
12:35
will be less kids that grow up with
12:37
having lead in their system and I
12:39
leave it will correlate the less people
12:41
being incarcerated before making bad
12:43
decisions sometimes those kids go back
12:45
home their reexpose to different things
12:48
and the cycle just continues and
12:51
continues and sometimes you see those
12:53
kids as they get older and into the
12:56
higher grades drop out of school first
12:59
of all we have to have some sort of
13:01
system for identifying kids as a teacher
13:03
I actually have been given no formal
13:07
training or awareness preparation
13:11
anything related to lead poisoning
13:12
really anything that I know about lead
13:14
poisoning was just my own interest
13:16
concerns and finding out self esteem is
13:19
one of the most important things that we
13:20
can teach our children and I see these
13:25
children as being sad not being able to
13:30
form relationships and not being able to
13:33
say what they want to say and put their
13:37
thoughts into words their coping
13:40
strategies have lessened or maybe they
13:43
never even had any it seems pretty
13:46
apparent when you walk around schools
13:47
that certainly a number of kids could be
13:49
led poisoned if you just look at
13:51
symptoms or behavior family history a
13:54
lot of people think that the only way a
13:56
child can become poisoned by lead is by
14:02
eating it but just by existing and just
14:04
by breathing what's in the air if
14:07
there's lead in the air those children
14:09
are breathing that into their little
14:11
lungs and their new little lungs and
14:14
that just by itself can cause that
14:17
poisoning parents need to consider what
14:21
are the other possible ways child might
14:23
receive for
14:24
exposed to lit and and there are many of
14:27
them that includes children that are
14:30
from fu G families so coming from a
14:32
different country that they may have
14:34
exposure in their homeland there's
14:36
certain types of cultural and ethnic
14:39
herbs that sometimes are contaminated
14:41
with lead think about this with any time
14:44
home renovation is being done that's a
14:45
particularly important aspect of it when
14:49
John was first diagnosed they prepared
14:52
me for the fact that he could be
14:54
mentally handicapped for the rest of his
14:55
life there were tests on his future job
14:58
ability so we had to worry about whether
15:01
or not he would be able to work if he
15:02
got older if he was ever gonna be able
15:05
to live on his own and sometimes I still
15:08
question that I had no idea how hard it
15:11
was for him I thought I was just
15:13
thinking about myself like Oh what am I
15:15
gonna do with my schedule my work
15:16
schedule my two other children I'm a
15:19
single mom what am I gonna do we have to
15:22
be in the hospital five days it was I
15:27
have to make it all about him I'm sorry
15:30
you got my poisoning I'm sorry I made
15:33
you sick I'm sorry you went through the
15:36
hell that you went through in the
15:39
hospital trips and the needles and the
15:42
throwing up I'm sorry that you suffered
15:47
and I'm sorry I couldn't protect you I'm
15:50
sorry I know that there would have been
15:53
anything that I could have done this not
15:56
ever happen to you I would have done
15:58
that a million times over I would have
16:01
taken it from you I would have I would
16:03
have taken the lead so you would never
16:05
have to go through it you didn't do this
16:08
you didn't if you didn't know you didn't
16:11
you didn't do this it's not your fault
16:13
they all feel responsible they all feel
16:15
as though this was something that they
16:16
could have prevented and they didn't and
16:19
I think that's the thing that's that's
16:20
really resonated with me most as a
16:22
mother most of the housing in cities is
16:27
made before 1978
16:28
so you see a whole city full of houses
16:31
to completely abate the lead remove the
16:34
can be anywhere from 1525 up to $60,000
16:38
so a lot of times properties are sold
16:40
for for less than that so it becomes
16:42
something that landlords aren't eager to
16:45
rush into and the tenants aren't aware
16:47
of so kind of just it's one of those
16:49
problems that seems to fall through the
16:50
cracks being a landlord is definitely
16:53
not easy
16:54
that's a job on its own it doesn't
16:57
matter if you're a good landlord or a
16:58
bad landlord once something goes wrong
17:00
it always kind of falls back on the
17:01
landlord and they make it seem like you
17:04
weren't doing your job we're doing your
17:05
part but I can't be within your
17:09
household all the time and dictate what
17:12
you should do or shouldn't do that's
17:14
everyone's gonna live their own personal
17:16
lives it's very easy to paint the
17:17
landlords as the bad guys in this
17:19
operation but really these are people
17:22
who have worked to improve these homes
17:24
sometimes they're they're either unaware
17:26
or just themselves struggling to get by
17:29
and economics becomes a real problem for
17:32
them as well as the tenants being a
17:34
landlord or property manager it's your
17:37
chew one to keep your place as safe as
17:39
possible for the people within it and
17:41
also for whoever comes there for
17:44
whatever reason it's just a responsible
17:46
thing to do I don't think it's not just
17:48
a landlord responsibility but I think
17:50
it's just a social responsibility in
17:53
general for the government and you know
17:55
the upper power who have or create
17:57
certain programs and put more help and
18:02
effort to stop in an issue that is a
18:05
cause too many other issues testing
18:08
children detects lead poisoning after a
18:12
child is poisoned testing properties
18:16
prevents the exposure altogether it is
18:19
100% preventable and we are not doing
18:22
enough lead poisoning is real
18:24
and it's your responsibility when you
18:26
bought the building I advise all of my
18:30
clients when they're relocating to do a
18:33
walk-through before they sign any lease
18:35
agreement they have a right to receive a
18:39
federally required lead paint disclosure
18:41
from their landlord for any building
18:44
built before 1978 if a landlord is aware
18:49
of lead hazards in a property they're
18:51
required to disclose that to every
18:54
single tenant the lead prevention
18:57
program in the county were in has been
18:59
utterly fantastic they've been anything
19:02
but threatening and they've been offered
19:04
tremendous help and we really appreciate
19:06
that
19:06
the way that some municipality some
19:08
success municipalities have tackled it
19:10
is by focusing on remediation
19:15
encapsulation basically making sure that
19:18
the floors and the surfaces are clean
19:19
replacing windows replacing the door
19:22
frames making sure that a test is done
19:26
every three years or so the tools that
19:28
have been drafted in the legislation
19:30
multitude levels whether federal state
19:32
or local are all we need to eradicate
19:35
the lead poisoning of our children in
19:37
this country if we had the resources to
19:40
go through and see them followed as they
19:43
were intended there are only a few
19:46
jurisdictions that I am aware of that
19:49
have laws in place that require the
19:53
screening of properties those locations
19:57
we are finding have had a huge reduction
20:01
LED levels and children and that is
20:04
because we're not waiting until a
20:07
child's poisoned to find the problems
20:09
this is a predator in your home and you
20:13
need to be aware of it and you need to
20:15
look for it and that's how you're going
20:16
to be able to keep your children safe
20:18
the EPA provides an eight-hour course
20:20
called RRP renovate repair and paint and
20:24
it basically shows you lead safe
20:25
practices if you're gonna fix up your
20:27
homes that's something we really need to
20:28
focus on as elected officials as the
20:31
municipality is the county to make sure
20:33
that people are educated about
20:35
renovating houses and safe practices
20:38
especially you know keeping the surfaces
20:40
wet if you're gonna be doing stuff so
20:41
that the dust doesn't get up into the
20:43
air and poison everyone in the vicinity
20:44
even though we have these hazards in
20:47
these older housing stock it is very
20:49
possible and affordable to put the
20:52
interim controls in place identify the
20:55
hazards properly safely repair them get
20:59
fresh coats of paint onto those
21:01
locations and do an interim control
21:03
until our community and city can do
21:05
something to address a more long-term
21:07
solution to mitigate the effect of
21:10
exposure to these risk if caught early
21:13
enough it could actually be something
21:17
that sees not just the individual
21:20
it saves everybody it seems the medical
21:23
industry insurance industry you're not
21:26
spending all this money on treatment
21:27
you're not spending all this money on
21:28
maybe a future adult with special needs
21:31
you know how many adults could be out
21:34
out there right now we could have helped
21:38
them just from a finger prick just from
21:40
getting tested
21:42
imagine if our children weren't so left
21:44
boys and imagine if we didn't have these
21:46
crime rates imagine if we didn't have
21:48
these poverty issues making sure a
21:49
community can reckon with our legitimate
21:51
let problem we will have less failing
21:55
students the reality is is that we will
21:57
have less struggles in our school
21:59
district the reality that we are
22:01
creating is that these kids will become
22:03
more productive members of the community
22:04
because as their brains are working with
22:06
the IQ the universe bless them with we
22:09
are making that talked about brighter
22:11
future a reality all it takes is
22:15
determination and advocating for your
22:18
child that doesn't cost anything don't
22:22
put it out in front of that class cuz my
22:24
teacher said take them aside talk to
22:27
them I think that they're okay and if
22:30
they say no then try to help them oh
22:32
just pressure off I don't want to be
22:34
rich it's gonna be comfortable that's
22:36
all huh
22:37
[Music]
23:05
[Applause]
23:08
[Music]
23:25
you


 


LeadSafe Charlotte Outreach Program

LeadSafe Charlotte is leading the way in protecting children from the dangers of lead by educating families and providing information on the hazards of lead exposure.  Please call us if you are a homeowner, landlord or contractor interested in receiving more information about the dangers of lead-based paint and how to protect your family or the families you serve. 

​If your home was built before 1978, you should have your home tested. ​

​All children should be tested for lead poisoning at the discretion of their physician. Contact the LeadSafe Charlotte Hotline at 704-336-2114 to see if you qualify for free testing and free blood testing for children enrolled in our program.  ​

​Applicants eligible for assistance under the LeadSafe Charlotte must:

  • Own in a dwelling that was built before 1978
  • Have a household income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income for the household size (occupant income is evaluated to determine eligibility for rental properties)
  • Have a child under the age of six residing or visiting in the home more than six hours a week (owner occupied units) or are currently pregnant
  • Rental units are not required to have children under six present, however, upon unit turnover, the property owner must commit to making the unit available to families with children under six​

Repairs include but are not limited to:

  • Removing and replacing windows and doors that have been identified with lead-based paint hazards
  • Painting or siding the exterior of a home that has been identified with lead-based paint hazards
  • Repairing interior doors to ensure smooth operation to reduce the occurrence of lead contaminated paint dust

Income Limits

Household income which does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income for the household size may qualify.   ​

​Homeowners who wish to apply for assistance must contact the LeadSafe Charlotte Hotline at 704-336-2114 for pre-qualification.​

After verification of the information provided and the determination of eligibility, an inspection of the property will be made by a rehabilitation specialist to determine the current condition of the property, and preliminary feasibility for inclusion in the Safe Home and/or LeadSafe Charlotte programs. 

Homeowners are encouraged to assist the rehabilitation specialist by providing information on problems that you know exist and need repair.  After the inspection, if rehabilitation is deemed feasible, a meeting will be set up to discuss the details of the programs and responsibilities of the City, homeowner, and contractors.  Families who qualify for LeadSafe Charlotte also qualify for the City's Safe Home Program (when funding is available).

Preference will be given in situations that threaten the health and safety of the occupants.  Homes are prioritized as follows:

  1. Homes of children with elevated blood lead levels of greater than or equal to 5 ug/l
  2. Privately owned, single-family residents (owner occupants)
  3. Other agency referrals

Investor owners of multi-unit complexes and single unit housing who are also willing to bring all units in compliance with the housing codes using their own resources .


 

  For more information, contact The LeadSafe Charlotte Hotline at 704-336-2114.