R.I. Launches Lead Paint Mitigation Campaign

Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri has unveiled a new media campaign aimed at lead paint mitigation. The Lead Hazard Mitigation Law, which takes effect July 1, requires that all owners of rental properties built before 1978 meet the following requirements: take a three-hour class, inspect their property, and give tenants information.

The campaign is designed to increase awareness of the law and inform landlords of their responsibilities under the new law. It will run during the month of June on television, radio, and in newspapers.

Carcieri was joined by Dr. Patricia Nolan, Director, Department of Health; Susan Baxter of the Housing Resources Commission; and Roberta Aaronson, Executive Director of the Childhood Lead Action Project.

“With the booklet, print, television and radio ads, we are getting the word out to landlords and our community about how to comply with this important law,” said Carcieri. “We are giving them the tools they need to learn how to find and safely fix lead hazards. This marks another step forward in our collective efforts to keep children free from lead poisoning. This is a complex problem that stems from our aging housing stock. We have made progress in eliminating lead poisoning, but we still have work to do. ”

“HEALTH works with rental property owners to remove lead hazards, achieve a safe environment for Rhode Island children and protect property investments,” said Dr. Patricia A. Nolan, Director of the RI Department of Health. “Even though the rate of lead poisoning in Rhode Island continues to decline, 1,161 more children were identified as having lead poisoning in 2003. We need to assure that every child is protected from this preventable disease.”

“Once landlords identify the scope of improvements, there is financial assistance available to help them clean up lead hazards at their rental properties,” said Susan Baxter, chair, Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission. This assistance is available through the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation at 450-1350.

For more information about the Lead Hazard Mitigation Law, contact the Housing Resources Commission at 1-800-570-0768 or visit their website at www.hrc.ri.gov.