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Lead paint is a problem for homeowners too

The biggest lead paint problem is in family-owned homes that have never been inspected.

Landlords have done a great job reducing, removing or encapsulating lead paint in rental homes to make their properties safer for children and pregnant women ("Housing chief suggests mothers may deliberately expose children to lead," Aug. 14).

Landlords need to resolve such matters every few years in order to get their next tenant. So landlords get it: It is good business, and it is the law.

However, the largest remaining lead paint problem is in family-owned homes that have never been inspected and are painted much less frequently. These are often where parents and grandparents are raising a child, and in many cases more than one child or more than one generation of children.

These homeowners need to be looked at regarding how they maintain their properties, and they should be held accountable to periodic, independent lead inspections and code enforcement inspectors just like landlords.

That is how to reduce the lead in the students' bloodstreams and avoid cases of poisoning. How have the legislators missed such a huge percentage of the housing stock?

Let homeowners pay the required expenses just like landlords, so that their children and grandchildren can be safer. Such inspections would also spur more renovation work in the city that would benefit everyone.

Howard Barshop, Baltimore

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