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Lead-Free Families is a community health initiative of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health aimed at creating a strong pathway to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Lancaster County.

It is the first comprehensive childhood lead poisoning prevention program in the United States to be initially funded entirely by a health system. LG Health has committed to investing $50 million over 10 years to identify and remediate lead health hazards in at least 2,800 homes across the county.

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Informational Flyers (PDFs): 

Lead-Free Families Flyer (English)

Lead-Free Families Flyer (Spanish)

What is Lead and Where is It Found?

Health Effects of Lead Poisoning

What does Lead-Free Families do?

Our program offers the following services across Lancaster County*:

  • Lead screening
  • In-home lead testing and remediation
  • Healthcare and social service support 
  • Community education and outreach
  • Public policy advocacy and education

*In the City of Lancaster, Lead-Free Families works collaboratively with the Lead-Safe Lancaster program to identify and remediate lead hazards in Lancaster City homes and provide support services and education.

Why focus on home-based lead hazards?

We are focused on removing lead hazards from homes, because the home is by far the place where most lead exposures occur. In addition, many of these homes have young children (age 6 and younger) or pregnant women living in them—and they are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning.

Lead can be in paint, plumbing and soil. But most lead exposure comes from peeling and chipping paint. Lead is most commonly found in homes built before 1978, when the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint.

Lancaster County has a large number of homes built before 1978, and it is estimated that 45 percent of households have a child under the age of 6 or a pregnant woman living there. This makes our community’s risks that much greater.

How do I know if I am eligible for this program?

To be eligible for the Lead-Free Families program, the following criteria must be met:  

  • Home must have been built before 1978
  • Home must be within Lancaster County
  • At least one child under the age of 6 must live in home or visit
  • A family's household income must be no more than 400% of the current Federal Poverty Level: 
    • Household of 1 person: Income below $51,520
    • Household of 2 people: Income below $69,680
    • Household of 3 people: Income below $87,840
    • Household of 4 people: Income below $106,000
    • Household of 5 people: Income below $124,160
    • Household of 6 people: Income below $142,320
    • Household of 7 people: Income below $160,480
    • Household of 8 people: Income below $178,640

Both homeowners and tenants can apply for the Lead-Free Families program. Lead remediation services are provided at no cost to owner-occupants. Landlords pay 10% of the remediation costs for their properties.

How do I find out if my family is being exposed to lead in our home?

Apply for the Lead-Free Families program today! Just click here. Or contact our team at 717-544-LEAD (5323) or info@leadfreefamilies.org to learn more.

Once eligibility has been established, Lead-Free Families will conduct a lead risk assessment at the home. To qualify for remediation, the risk assessment must find that the home contains lead-based paint hazards. 

Giving opportunities for Lead-Free Families 

Lead-Free Families is made possible by an initial $50 million commitment by the Board of Trustees of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. This is an historic investment in the health of Lancaster County, and is expected to help remove lead hazards from at least 2,800 homes over 10 years.

But with your help, we can do even more. If you are interested in supporting Lead-Free Families through a financial contribution, please visit the Lancaster General Health Foundation website at LGHealth.org/Foundation or call 717-544-1374.

Lead Ordinance Template for Municipalities

Lead Ordinance Template (PDF download) 

This document can be used by local municipalities to create a lead ordinance. The goal of the ordinance is to inform local policy makers how to effectively reduce childhood lead poisoning in their community.

A local lead ordinance can prevent childhood lead poisoning by enforcing better health-protective standards in housing, particularly in rental housing. Local housing policies, and particularly adoption of local laws, may be the key to addressing high lead poisoning rates.

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