|HUD Region VI: 11-10
March 4, 2011
HUD AWARDS UT ARLINGTON $500,000 TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM LEAD HAZARDS
FORT WORTH - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the University of Texas at Arlington a $498,130 grant to conduct research to reduce risks to children from lead-contaminated soil.
The funding is provided through HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, which supports research to eliminate dangerous lead and other key housing-related hazards from lower income homes. "Homes with lead or other health hazards can injure children and worsen conditions such as asthma and HUD wants to ensure that children have a healthy place to call home," said Jon Gant, Director of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
Nationally, HUD provided a total of $7.8 million in grants to 14 projects in nine states to protect children from exposure to lead and other home health hazards. Two million dollars of that amount will be used, for the first time, to improve indoor environmental conditions for asthmatic children and other residents living in public and assisted multifamily housing.
Lead is a known toxin that can impair children's development and have effects lasting into adulthood. Even though lead-based paint was banned for use in the home in 1978, HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child's kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.
The University of Texas at Arlington will use its Lead Technical Studies grant to assess the use of Apatite II (a phosphate) to immobilize lead in contaminated urban residential soil in New Orleans. The phosphate converts soluble lead ions in the soil into a stable and insoluble crystalline lead phosphate. The study will test the ability of Apatite II to sequester soil lead in comparison to other types of treatments, and demonstrate that Apatite II is an environmentally acceptable remediation agent because it does not leach from the soil. Partners include Tulane and Xavier Universities, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.