JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A Jamestown area mother is touting the danger of lead paint poisoning, after her son suffered severe side effects when he came in contact with the toxic compound.
The issue is a big problem in Chautauqua County specifically because of the area’s high number of historic buildings.
Since the majority of homes in our area were built before 1978 when there were no regulations on the use of lead paint, most contain trace amounts of chemicals.
“80 percent of the homes in Chautauqua County were built before 1978, which is kind of the precursor, that’s when the federal government banned lead paint from being sold and used, so 80 percent of our homes most likely have lead in them,” said advocate Jade Shirey.
“I’m basically just trying to help the county with spreading awareness about lead poisoning and then in hopes of spreading awareness also hopefully do some prevention and have people understand what the risks are associated with lead,” said Shirey.
Jade Shirey became an advocate after her son suffered lead poisoning.
“We have a lot of difficulties going on and so I think I’m in the perfect position to help people realize what’s going on,” Shirey explained. “It can cause irreversible learning and behavior issues, loss of I.Q. points, learning disabilities, ADHD, and in some cases autism.”
Luckily, county health officials, like Anna Powell, are working to get homes tested before any harm can occur.
“Give us a call at the health department, we can come in, we can do an inspection of your home, we can offer you training and some supplies to help remediate those lead hazards,” said Childhood Lead and Healthy Homes Coordinator Anna Powell.
To learn more about lead paint testing, you can call the Childhood Lead and Healthy Homes Office at (716) 753-4489.