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HUD grants millions to make homes lead-free

HUD wants to make people aware that their home may contain lead.

HUD wants to make people aware that their home may contain lead.

With the recent foreclosure crisis and a growing number of unoccupied homes on the market, it's never been easier to move into a home that's reasonably priced. But with a greater supply of homes comes risk.

Lead hasn't been used in paint since 1978, but because homes have been painted for generations, millions of homes are covered with it.

With this in mind, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $127 million in grants to 48 organizations around the country whose mission is to keep families protected from lead-based paint before they close on a home.

"We cannot allow children to be poisoned in their own homes,” said Shaun Donovan, HUD secretary. "These grants will help communities around the nation protect families from lead exposure."

Approximately 24 million homes contain lead paint. Breathing in its dust can cause a variety of physical and cognitive health conditions, like stunted growth, kidney damage, learning disabilities, even death.

Before moving into a home, it's important to know when it was built. Homes built prior to 1978 likely contain lead.

Since 1991, the EPA and HUD have made lead awareness a top priority, calling it the number one environmental threat to the health of children in the U.S.