State health officials consider taking Cleveland’s ability to investigate lead poisoning cases

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Rachel Dissell, Brie Zeltner, The Plain Dealer

In 2014, the city had contracted with a private inspector to assist with a backlog of cases. That brought the total number of qualified inspectors to two for an average of up to 500 cases per year, according to data analyzed for The Plain Dealer by The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.

Cuyahoga County’s Board of Health, in contrast, has 10 public health lead investigators. The county board of health covers more cities but receives fewer state referrals for lead poisoning cases. About 80 percent of the county’s lead poisoning cases are in Cleveland, according to county data.

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The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have opportunity to succeed.