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Philadelphia is plagued by lead in house paint, dust, soil, and drinking water plumbing. More than 550,000 occupied Philadelphia housing units were built before 1978 and may contain lead-based paint while thousands of city homes are connected to city water mains by lead service lines. Much of Philadelphia’s soil is also contaminated by nearly 100 former lead-emitting factories or smelters.

Through our Lead Hazard Awareness Project (LHAP), we’re conducting educational presentations to underserved and vulnerable neighborhoods around Philadelphia. The presentations provide information to orient residents on the hazards of lead exposure, to assist them in identifying whether there are sources in their homes and communities, and to provide them with paths to help them live safely with those hazards until they can be isolated or eliminated. We’ll also conduct follow up with interested residents to train them to become designated Green Ambassador, who’ll be empowered to assist and instruct their neighbors in dealing with lead.

Residents interested in becoming Green Ambassadors can reach out for in-home “walk-throughs” where Clean Water Fund will assist them in identifying possible lead sources in their own homes so they may learn to do the same for their neighbors. This project is part of the Philadelphia Lead Hazard Awareness Campaign, a community empowerment project sponsored by the Philadelphia Water Department in collaboration with the Overbook Environmental Education Center.