Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Wipe Out Lead

Why it Matters

Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contain high levels of lead. Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. When children breathe or ingest lead dust, they can become poisoned and get very sick.

Thousands of children in Erie County have already fallen victim to lead poisoning, and Western New York is a hotbed of lead paint hazards. One-third of all lead poisoning cases reported in New York State (outside of New York City) are located in nine zip codes in Buffalo: 14201, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14213 and 14215--making our region one of the most dangerous for young children nationwide.

While lead is potentially harmful to individuals at any age, it is especially dangerous for children under the age of six. Lead poisoning causes permanent neurological damage including loss of I.Q., developmental delays, learning disabilities, memory loss, hearing loss, attention deficits, hyperactivity, and behavioral disorders. In extreme cases, lead exposure can result in organ failure and death.

The good news is that lead poisoning is 100% preventable, and there are things you can do to help protect your family and our community:

  1. Test your children and home for lead
  2. Feed your children a healthy diet
  3. Learn how to do lead-safe home repairs and remodeling
  4. Avoid exposing your family to lead
  5. Volunteer your time and resources to help us help those most at risk

By working together, we can Wipe Out Lead!

Learn More

The Erie County Department of Health has the following programs entirely dedicated to support the elimination of lead poisoning:

For more information about these programs, or for general information on how to help prevent lead poisoning, Buffalo residents, call 311. Erie County residents, call (716) 961-6800.

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