Lead Poisoning in New Hampshire

Policy Options for Primary Prevention
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0708-13
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lead poisoning has been linked to numerous behavioral problems and health conditions among children with elevated lead blood levels. This report first focuses on methods that have been used for primary prevention and then gives several policy recommendations that can be implemented in New Hampshire.

Methods for primary prevention include:

  • Regulation: States such as Maryland and Massachusetts have mandated that property owners perform paint stabilization or abatement.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: State and local governments should consider forming partnerships with non-profit organizations when developing methods for lead poisoning prevention.
  • Financial Incentives: States can give monetary incentives such as tax credits to encourage homeowners to perform abatement or stabilization.
  • Lead Courts: The lead court in Philadelphia has proven effective for ensuring the completion of remediation on properties where lead hazards have been identified.

Any measures to prevent lead poisoning will require significant amounts of funding. This report examines three main sources of funding:

  • Earmarks and Appropriations
  • Nonprofits
  • Taxes, fees and surcharges

Taking a holistic approach to combating lead poisoning allows the state to draw on resources not specifically allocated for primary prevention. Initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency and further community development often also help reduce the incidence of lead poisoning by encouraging the replacement of windows and renovation of old buildings.