Local health district has funds for lead remediation

Shelton residents may apply to the Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) for funding for lead remediation in their homes.

The funds are available as part of the NauVEL (Naugatuck Valley Emends Lead Hazards) program, through a federal grant.

The aim of NauVEL is to provide resources to make older homes lead-safe for young children and families and to protect children from lead poisoning.

Staff members are writing a grant for a third funding cycle, said Karen Spargo, NVHD health director.

Homeowners, tenants and landlords

Homeowners, tenants and landlords may apply for funding, and the NVHD will review the applications. “If the applicant is eligible, we will provide funds for remediation,” Spargo said.

Eligibility criteria include the age of the house, lead testing and screening, the presence of children under the age of 6 in the home, and the presence of elderly residents.

Lead inspectors get involved and certified contractors are used, Spargo said.

Variety of remedial methods

There are a variety of remedial methods, said David Rogers, assistant director for environmental health at the NVHD.

Contractors may replace windows or parts of them, since lead paint is often found around older windows, and lead dust is present as the windows are opened and closed.

Or, an affected exterior surface of the home may be covered with vinyl siding. Lead encapsulant paints that adhere to the lead and eliminate its dangers may also be applied.

Homeowners may undertake parts of the project themselves, Rogers said.

Hundreds of homes remediated

Through the federal funding, Spargo said, the NVHD has remediated 400 homes during the past five years in its service area, which includes Shelton and five other towns.

For more information on NauVEL, call 203-828-9925 or visit nvhd.org.