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Health & Science

Cleveland Leaders Announce Plan to Fight Lead Poisoning

A photo of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
MARK URYCKI
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO
Mayor Frank Jackson surrounded by supporters of the city's plan to reduce lead poisoning.

Less than two weeks after a citizens group said it was moving forward with a proposed ballot initiative to reduce lead poisoning in Cleveland homes, the city has announced its own effort.  

Representatives from hospitals, philanthropies, and citizen organizations all crowded a stage at City Hall to support an effort to make Cleveland lead safe. Mayor Frank Jackson says don’t expect the city to do everything.

“Governmental effort in and of themselves would always fail.  You have to have community efforts whether it’s the philanthropic sector or the private sector, all of this."

So various committees with public and private leaders will work on answers to the lead problem. 

Studies have linked lead poisoning with lower IQ in children and a higher risk of violence as adults.

The source is usually lead paint in old homes but don’t expect a crackdown on landlords or completely lead free homes. “The idea of full abatement would get us nowhere and we would fail," said City Council President Kevin Kelly.  

Instead, they’re looking for funding to help incentivize landlords to mitigate the exposure.