U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging the federal government to approve $5.1 million in funding for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in homes throughout western New York.
Schumer says Erie and Niagara Counties are especially vulnerable because more than 40 percent of the homes there were built before 1950, when lead paint was commonly used. It was banned in the late 1970s.
Based on the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2,300 children in upstate New York were found with blood-lead levels associated with permanent neurological damage and behavioral disorders.
In western New York, 585 children, or approximately 13 percent, tested positive for lead poisoning in 2014.
The funding would come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.