CLEVELAND — Certified lead inspector training in Cleveland, put together by the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition and Environmental Health Watch is having an impact in the effort to protect local children from lead poisoning.
Kim Foreman, Executive Director with Environmental Health Watch, told News 5 nearly 400 have gone through the training program in just its first year.
“It’s really teaching people how to work lead safe, also how to clean property, clean-up lead, clean-up lead dust," Foreman said. “We’re asking people to pay a $50 deposit which will get refunded. If you are a Cleveland resident, we will also support you by giving you reimbursement on the certification fees.”
“We have lead 101 education sessions, we have community engagement sessions that are out. Outreach specialists that are out in the field every day.”
Sanders Williams is a Cleveland landlord who owns eight rental properties who is taking the training. Sanders believes the training is essential in helping property owners get their rental units lead compliant.
“I didn’t understand how devastating that lead could be for young children, so that really opened my eyes,” Williams said. “I am so glad that I attended this class, all my properties are pre-1978, so I’m going to go through each one of them.”
Adam Ferracane, owner of Refresh, which gets apartments ready for new tenants, told News 5 the training is also important for owner-occupied homes that also present a lead risk to children.
“I do think that residents and homeowners should take this very, very seriously and that they should learn more about lead," Ferracane said.
Those interested in signing up for the training program can enter on the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition website. Those searching for a certified inspector can find a list on the Environmental Health Watch website.
Meanwhile, Foreman told News 5 certified inspectors will be needed to make an estimated 90,000 Cleveland rental units lead-safe in the next few years.
"It’s very important that we care about our children, the next generation," Foreman said.
“We can prevent it, this is a public health crisis with a housing solution. We know what to do.”