The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $700,000 to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to explore and evaluate best practices for identifying and removing lead paint hazards from Kansas City homes.
The grant is in partnership with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Lead Safe KC Project, which helps remove lead paint hazards in homes of families with young children; and Children’s Mercy Environmental Health Program, which has assessed more than 1,400 homes for environmental risks and supports allergen research.
Homes that were built before 1978 might contain lead paint, which could put residents, especially young children and pregnant women, at risk for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause speech delays, brain damage and other health effects.
Using Kansas City and Children’s Mercy data, the UMKC Center for Economic Information will perform a comparative impact analysis of the specific lead hazard control treatments used in the intervention in terms of blood-lead levels and social costs.
“The goal will be to develop a data-driven quality improvement evaluation model that HUD-sponsored lead-hazard control programs will be able to use in the management and performance evaluation of their own programs,” said Doug Bowles, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Economic Information, co-principal investigator on the grant.
“An additional goal will be to develop a data-driven, housing-based index that lead-hazard control programs can use to select the homes most in need of lead-based hazard remediation,” said Steve Simon, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine and co-principal investigator on the grant.
The study will examine data from the Kansas City Health Department, comparing lead poisoning information with home repair strategies to determine the most effective, sustainable and cost-efficient methods of protecting families.