UNLV's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, partnering with the City of Henderson, Neighborhood Services Division, received more than $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help protect children and families from lead-based paint hazards and other home health and safety concerns.
The goal of the Henderson Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program is to create lead-safe and healthy housing in a targeted area within Henderson. This area is known to contain original town site homes, which are the oldest housing in Henderson and have the highest likelihood of lead-based paint hazards.
The City of Henderson, with assistance from UNLV, will address lead hazards in at least 80 homes and conduct healthy homes assessments in at least 50 of the homes during a three-year period.
"The collaboration between the City of Henderson and UNLV to address Healthy Homes issues is a great example of how collaborative research benefits our communities, cities and educational institutions," said Shawn Gerstenberger, interim dean of UNLV's School of Community Health Science. "Partnering with forward- thinking organizations, like the City of Henderson, and submitting competitive research proposals bring much needed federal funding to Nevada."
The program is free to Henderson residents - both homeowners and renters - who meet the following criteria:
- Currently living in pre-1978 housing
- Have at least one child 5 years or younger, or with an expectant mother living or frequently visiting the home
- Total family income is less than 80 percent of area median income ($49,200 for a family of four)
To find out if you qualify, call 702-895-5422 to speak with a Lead Hazard and Healthy Homes Specialist.
Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including 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.
If lead hazards are found in a home, eligible applicants will receive no-cost lead hazard control services. Additionally, nearly $200,000 of the grant will be set aside for UNLV's Healthy Homes Specialists to examine and fix preventable health issues within the homes, including:
- Asthma triggers (mold, cockroaches and pests, dust, and dust mites)
- Poisoning hazards (improperly stored medicines, chemicals, and cleaning supplies)
- Unintentional injuries (eliminating fall and trip hazards, repairing stairs, and smoke detectors)
The Henderson Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes program may be able to replace air filters, repair leaky pipes, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and in some cases conduct structural repair.
UNLV's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, within the School of Community Health Sciences, has broad experience in addressing environmental health hazards in community housing through numerous projects supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Since 2006, the department has lead a consortium of city and county housing and health authorities, and other public and private partners in developing a healthy homes strategic plan for Clark County. Major initiatives include the Clark County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to reduce childhood lead poisoning. The department also houses the National Healthy Homes Training Center, which educates first responders, health officials and community members in the assessment and treatment of housing related health hazards.