Toledo Lead in the news

Follow Toledo's Lead Safe Housing ordinance in the news

July 3, 2017, Sen. Gardner finds better way to protect children from lead
Mr. Gardner hopes the modest grant program can accomplish two important goals — to help the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department rise to the challenge of implementing Toledo’s ordinance and to draw the ODH into the process in a useful way.

June 28, 2017 State OKs funds for Toledo lead plan Budget includes $300,000 for abatement grants 
Blade reports: "The two-year budget passed Wednesday by Ohio lawmakers preserves Toledo’s ability to enforce its new lead safety ordinance, and offers up to $300,000 in state funding to help property owners make improvements. The budget earmarks up to $150,000 a year to the city for grants intended to fund lead abatement, containment, and housing rehabilitation projects at owner-occupied and rental properties." 
     This has to be seen as a rebuke to efforts by Toledo area Rep. Merrin to block implementation of Toledo's lead safe housing ordinance.
     The article continues "City Councilman Larry Sykes, a strong supporter of Toledo’s rental ordinance, said the state money is a good start to improve the city’s health and quality of housing. Mr. Sykes said he did not want the ordinance to be punitive or to punish people when he originally campaigned for its approval. He wanted to improve the environment for children living in properties with lead problems."
      Councilman Larry Sykes will be guest speaker at CLSN's summer convening on July 27th. Watch for details after the Independence day holiday.

April 22, 2017. Toledo council approves amendment to lead law Compliance deadline for landlords extended; dust-wipe requirement stays 
The Blade reports "Toledo City Council on Tuesday approved an amendment to the city’s “lead-safe” rental property law that extends compliance deadlines, but keeps a controversial dust-wipe requirement for home inspections. The amendment passed with a 10-1 vote, with Councilman Tom Waniewski the lone dissenter. It delays the fast-approaching original Sept. 17 deadline when all of an estimated 50,000 affected dwellings were to have been inspected and certified. Now, there are three deadlines divided by census tracts, starting with areas identified as highest-risk for poisoning children."

Toledo to review lead-safe rules City council may extend, stagger compliance deadline and eliminate registry 
April 12, 2017, The Blade reports "City council will consider changes to Toledo’s rental lead-safe ordinance to extend and stagger the compliance deadline, eliminate a required registry of names and addresses of affected tenants, and create a hardship extension program to help landlords be in compliance. Council members discussed the potential changes at a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday and are expected to vote on it next week. The law requires rental properties with one to four units and day-care facilities to be inspected visually and tested for lead dust before the properties can be issued a lead-safe certificate and rented to tenants. Proposed changes would set staggered compliance deadlines by census tracts, beginning with those identified as having the highest risk for lead hazards to poison children."

April 1, 2017 Toledo Stays Serious about Lead
     At least that's the message from the Toledo Blade in the wake of news stories about delaying implementation of the 2016 ordinance requiring landlords to certify certain rental properties as being lead safe. 
     This past week the Blade editorialized support for continuing to pursue the goals set by City Council last year and resist efforts to weaken the law. "No, a visual inspection is not enough. An inspector can’t tell if paint or dust has lead in it with the naked eye."
     The most recent editorial follows up on an editorial on March 6th which demands: "Toledo needs to get lead out."
     And...the Blade doubled down on lead in water, calling on city officials to "Get serious about lead and water" when it comes to addressing lead pipes in the Toledo water system.

March 26, 2017 An even greater duty
"Since the obstacles have been revealed, opponents of the ordinance have once again begun calling for city council to roll back its provisions. Most notably, they want to do away with the requirement for inspectors to not only visually inspect properties for peeling paint and other hazards, but swab surfaces with dust wipes, which will then be tested for lead. A visual inspection should be enough, they say. No, a visual inspection is not enough. An inspector can’t tell if paint or dust has lead in it with the naked eye."

March 23. 2017 Get serious about water and lead
Everyone has agreed that Flint’s lead-water crisis was a wake-up call. If so, why do we keep hitting the snooze button? Toledo recently released its analysis of how many of the city’s water service lines were made of lead. The report was in response to an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandate to map all such lines in cities throughout the state. Toledo has 30,282 service lines with lead on the city side of the connection at the curb. This is in contrast to 38,680 such lines made of copper.

March 6, 2017 Toledo needs to get lead out
A proposal to hit the brakes on Toledo’s modest lead-safe ordinance is a bad idea — one that would put Toledo children in peril. Six months after Toledo City Council approved the ordinance requiring inspections and swipe tests, only 17 properties have been inspected and issued lead-safe certificates. Just 50 local lead inspectors have been registered. There is no good reason for this slow start. Landlords have until Sept. 17 to comply.

February 24, 2017, Toledo Blade, Lead-safe law draws criticism Toledo looks at possible changes including later deadlines

Dec. 16, 2016 Toledo Blade Lead-safe ordinance predicted to yield $2 million for health district

December 16, 2016 Toledo Blade Landlords not getting inspections

LOCAL Toledo lead ordinance may need more time 
Health agency seeks to train more inspectors to conduct tests

Toledo enacts lead safe ordinance
Toledo becomes the first Ohio city to require landlords to test and remediate lead hazards from their rental properties. Toledo Blade reports: "‘Lead-safe’ ordinance gets council approval." Council voted 10-0 to require landlords in 1-4 unit rental properties built before 1978 to certify that their units are "lead safe" before renting. The compromise ordinance introduced Councilman Larry Sykes includes mandatory "dust swipe" testing by the Toledo/Lucas County Health Department, creation of a lead free registry, and disclosure of known lead hazards.                                                        
posted August 17, 2016 

Toledoans speak out against lead safe housing proposals
     Toledo Blade reports on two public meetings on the proposed ordinances on lead safe housing. At yesterday's Council committee meeting about 40 residents asked questions and made statements. about the cost of compliance and landlord "privacy violations." According to the Blade: "A public meeting about the issue is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the Sullivan Center at Gesu Church, 2049 Parkside Blvd."
     At a meeting called by Council member Yvonne Harper earlier in the week, the Blade reported "Ms. Harper said the forum, which included a panel of representatives of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, or ABLE, was to provide information on the proposal and the effects lead has on children." Landlord's cost concerns were the main focus of the meeting. 
      RHINO asks this: since the costs of the testing is just $30 every 5 years, the cost the landlords fear are the costs to address poisoning conditions in their properties. In other words they don't want to pay to keep children from being poisoned? My property, someone else's problem?
      A vote by the Council is expected at their meeting next Tuesday.                                                  posted on August 11, 2016

Dust swipes are "non negotiable" says Toledo Lead Coalition
      The Blade reports on a press conference presented by the Toledo Lead Poisoning Coalition, in response to opponents of a proposed lead ordinance in Toledo. At the press conference the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department demonstrated how dust swipes can identify lead hazards that are not readily observable by a visual inspection. Opponents of the proposed ordinance have offered an alternative "visual inspection" test which would save landlords $30 when conducting a lead inspection. (See next story down) From the article: "Bob Cole, a member of the Toledo Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition and managing attorney for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, said the average cost of one dust-swipe test is $3.30. Inspectors would conduct about 10 tests per home. 'You’re talking about $30 to have tangible evidence that you either have a property that is lead safe, or you have a property that has lead dust,' Mr. Cole said."
     The article also quotes educators who appeared at the news conference to describe how lead hazards affect children's educational attainment. 
posted July 19, 2016
Watching the sausage being made in Toledo
      Another version of the Toledo Lead ordinance has been introduced in a effort to harmonize differences between the initial version by Toledo Lead Poisoning Coalition and an alternative supported by the real estate community. The Blade reports: "A third version of a proposed 'lead-safe' ordinance under consideration by Toledo City Council is now on the table, this one proposed by Councilman Larry Sykes, in hopes of bringing the measure to a vote at the next council meeting. The various proposals under review would require some older properties to be inspected and designated 'lead safe' before they could be rented out. Owners would have to treat identified lead hazards with interim controls — methods less invasive or costly than full abatement — which could include cleaning and painting to reduce the risk of lead poisoning for children living there. Up for debate is which properties should be included, the degree to which properties are inspected initially, and who could do inspections.
     Kudos to the Toledo Blade for its detailed coverage of this important issue and to the legislators in Toledo City Council for taking the issue seriously. Most of all HUGS and KUDOs to the advocates who have worked tirelessly to change the strategy from following up on poisoned children to preventing poisoned children.                                                                
posted July 21, 2016

Toledo real estate industry offers alternative lead ordinance
The Blade reports "Toledo City Councilman Rob Ludeman has offered his own version of a 'lead safe' rental property ordinance under consideration by city council, an effort he says will bring broader support in the real estate community. It’s an alternative to a proposal before council in which some older properties would be required to be inspected and deemed “lead safe” before they could be rented out. Owners would have to treat identified problems with interim controls — methods less invasive or costly than full abatement — which could include cleaning, painting, and covering exposed soil to reduce the risk of lead poisoning for children living there." The article quotes proponents of the original law as being skeptical of the "last minute" proposal. Advocates are planning a formal response on Monday.

 Heated debate over lead in Toledo
The Blade reports on a City Council hearing on a proposed ordinance to require landlords to certify that their properties are Lead safe. From the article: "Debate over a controversial proposal to require some older Toledo rental properties to be certified 'lead-safe' erupted Monday when proponents clashed with landlords during a city council committee hearing. Proponents pleaded with councilmen to approve the measure, which they say is an affordable way to prevent lead poisoning in children. Property owners said the measure would be too restrictive, expensive, and force them to increase rents. Dominque Ottrix fought back tears as she told council her 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with high levels of lead five years ago and still suffers from serious effects. The child is still 'on the waiting list' for neurological testing, Ms. Ottrix said."
"Lead safe" is a lesser standard than "lead free" and not as costly for landlords to achieve, while still protecting most children who live in or visit the rental property.
RHINO wonders what other business charges customers extra for a product that won't cause permanent harm to their children?