BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The celebrate Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Broome County held a news conference to recognize organizations that have the highest testing rates.

County Executive Jason Garnar announced the Lead Education Advocacy and Diagnostic Awards, known as LEADy winners.

The winners include UHS Pediatrics Chenango Bridge, UHS Primary Care Windsor, Endwell Family Physicians and UHS Binghamton Pediatrics.

The Broome County Health Department also announced that it was a awarded a $6.3 million dollar grant from HUD to address lead-based paint and safety hazards across the county.

The funds will go towards correcting hazards in approximately 180 homes over the next four years.

Public Health Director of the Health Department, Mary McFadden says especially in older homes, built before 1978, lead poisoning is more frequent.

Broome County Public Health Director Mary McFadden says, “Lead paint deteriorates and settles as dust on the floor, and then our babies and children play and crawl on the floor, and end up getting lead dust on their hands and ingesting it. Even though lead paint was banned in 1978, most of our homes were built before then.”

You can apply to have your home undergo the lead abatement process through the HUD grant.

To be eligible, residents must meet HUD’s occupancy and low-income guidelines, and the home must have been built before 1978.

The health department is also looking to hire additional contractors to work on abatement projects.

To apply contact the health department at (607) 778-2847