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Community Foundation spearheads lead removal effort in Buffalo

By Andrew Polino

Buffalo, NY – Last year, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo began its Wipe Out Lead Campaign in an effort to prevent lead poisoning in Western New York. Now they've announced the results of their first year.

Before the Wipe Out Lead campaign kicked off, thousands of children in Erie County were poisoned because their homes were contaminated with lead paint. A year later, the campaign has tested more than 650 children for lead and decontaminated over 100 houses. Clotilde Dedecker, the CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, says that houses within the zip codes of 14207 through 14215 are the most likely to contain lead paint.

"Lead poisoning is 100% preventable and the results of the first year of our Wipe Out Lead campaign speak for themselves when we work together we can make a difference," Dedecker said. "But we're not done yet."

AmeriCorps CEO Mark Lazzara's volunteers have been helping out with the lead removal effort.

"The Wipe Out Lead project is a great marriage of two goals for our area; creating safe environments for our children and breathing life into transitional neighborhoods," said Lazzara said. "The homes will not only look great and instill pride in the community; they'll also ensure a safe home for local families."

The Community Foundation will continue its campaign to fight lead poisoning. Next week, it will bring in more than 400 students from around the country to Buffalo, to help make more high-risk houses lead safe.