Nearly 40 years after it was banned, lead paint is still a hazard, especially for children. That's why the Illinois Quad Cities Healthy Homes Coalition is applying for a federal grant to remove it from local homes.
Moline is the lead applicant for the coalition, and K.J. Whitley, community development program manager, says the group includes Rock Island, East Moline, and Silvis, plus Project Now and the Rock Island County Health Department.
"Children like lead because it's sweet. It's the hand-to-mouth action. They're curious so they like to look out the windows - there's lead dust sitting on the sill. They're putting their hands in their mouth or they're touching toys that have lead paint."
The coalition is applying for $2.3 million to be used during the next three years, and that would be enough to remove lead paint from about 150 homes. It's for families with low to moderate incomes, and those with children would get top priority. Homes must have been built before 1978 — the year lead paint was banned in the US.
Whitley says the Illinois Quad Cities has already used three federal grants, starting back in 2005, to remove lead paint from more than 400 homes.