By JoAnne Viviano and Mark Ferenchik, Columbus Dispatch,
“We have not done a comprehensive look on all the lead-paint orders issued,” said Steve Dunbar, an assistant city attorney. “We’ll definitely continue to look at it.
“Hopefully we’ll get caught up.”
The 51 Columbus residences were among 540 on a state registry of owners who had failed to comply.
Those 51 properties far understate the problem of lead poisoning in central Ohio, said David Norris, senior researcher at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. He said an OSU analysis determined that at any given time in Franklin County, about 5,500 children younger than 6 suffer from lead poisoning.
Houses built before 1978, and especially those built before 1950, are likely to have lead paint. Children are poisoned when they ingest paint chips or inhale paint dust. That can affect the nervous system, leading to a lower IQ, delayed growth, poor hearing and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, according to the state health department. In extreme cases, lead poisoning can cause mental retardation, convulsions, coma and death.
That’s because houses get tested only after blood tests show high lead levels in children.