LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster General Health announced an initiative called "lead-free families" on Monday, hoping to address the high local rates of lead poisoning.
The hospital will be investing $50 million in the program, and hopes to identify and remove lead hazards in at least 2800 homes in Lancaster County.
Lancaster County is ranked as the fourth worst county for lead poisoning rates among children in the state.
The main culprit behind the high rates is the lead-based paint in homes built before 1978.
"54.9 percent of the homes in Columbia borough were built prior to 1939, more than 75 percent of the homes in Columbia borough were built prior to the 1978 ban on lead based paint," said Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz. "That's the enormity of this problem."
Homeowners whose home was built before 1978 and are in Lancaster county can apply online to be a part of the lead-free families program.
For more information about the program, click here.