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Public Housing Environmental & Conservation Clearinghouse

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Related Information
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Review the following helpful links to expand your current knowledge of Hazardous Materials
 -   Hazardous Materials/Waste
 -   Pesticide Fact Sheets
 -   Lead
 -   Mold


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Residents Corner
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Research materials that residents and the general public and utilize to become more involved with environmental conservation.
 -   How to Remove Mold

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Additional Resources
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Research and review more details about what HUD and other federal government agencies have available to further energy awareness
 -   PIH 2009-16 (PDF)
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Hazardous Materials

Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. But chemicals also can be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property. Be sure to read all labels for directions and warnings on how to handle and use chemicals before use of any hazardous products. These labels have valuable information on proper use and what to do in the event of an accident.

Lead - One Hazardous Material...

[Image: Buckets of Paint]HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) was established to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in America's privately-owned and low-income housing and to lead the nation in addressing other housing-related health hazards that threaten vulnerable residents.

The OHHLHC provides funds to state and local governments to assist in the development of cost-effective ways to reduce lead-based paint hazards. The office also enforces HUD’s lead-based paint regulations, provides public outreach and technical assistance, and conducts technical studies to help protect children and their families from health and safety hazards in the home.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.

Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.

Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and is tracked in. Children may become lead poisoned by:

  • Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths,
  • Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint, or
  • Playing in lead-contaminated soil

The most important thing you can do to protect children from lead poisoning is to find and remove the lead as soon as possible. The longer a child is around lead, the more the lead will hurt their body. Have your home inspected for lead paint.

Temporarily reducing Lead Paint exposure can be best achieved by cleaning. Here are seven tips for effectively minimizing lead exposure:

  • Wear gloves to clean exposed areas
  • Pick up paint chips by hand with a damp paper towel not your vacuum or a broom
  • Wash household surfaces using lead specific or all purpose cleaners
  • Use paper towels instead of dish cloths or sponges that can carry lead.
  • Use spray bottles to keep dust levels down instead of buckets of unclean water
  • Rinse and wipe down affected areas with clean paper towels
  • Clean up properly once finished by thoroughly washing your hands.
 
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