Cleveland Turns To Loans To Address Lead Paint As California Lawsuit Stands

A lead abatement worker hangs yellow caution tape across a doorway
An Ohio Department of Health study in 2017 found Cleveland children had lead levels at four times the national average. [D_Townsend / shutterstock]
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Ten years after Ohio blocked lawsuits against lead paint manufacturers, local governments in California have successfully sued paint companies

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to lawsuits against the paint companies ConAgra and Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams, letting stand a $400 million ruling for California cities and counties to cover the cost of lead paint abatement.

In Cleveland, Spencer Wells of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network said advocates and the city are looking at a low-interest loan program to help landlords clean up their properties, but he said large out-of-state investors shouldn’t have access to the same loans as local property owners.

“It’s complicated, it’s not impossible, but it’d be a complicated mix of different assistance packages,” said Wells. 

An ordinance introduced to city council’s development committee last year would require cleanup and inspections of properties with lead hazards.

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