Two house painters in hazmat suits removing lead paint from an old house.

The number of lead poisoning cases are on the rise in Baltimore and while the city council's health committee wants the problem addressed, there are too many homes with lead and too many unidentified homes to make immediate changes. The city saw 99 cases of lead poisoning in 2018, primarily from lead-based paint in homes, CBS Baltimore reports. An advocacy group in the city is working to help Baltimore reduce the high frequency of lead poisoning cases.

“It’s concerning,” said Ruth Ann Norton, the CEO of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. “Any time you have an increase, you have to double down and look at what’s going on.”

The initiative is working to eradicate lead entirely from the city, sending workers to hundreds of houses a year to remove lead paint.

“We have to address lead poisoning, which is the most dangerous neurotoxin,” she said. “It causes cognitive impacts, reading disabilities, aggressive behavior, (higher) school dropout rates.”

“Kids tend to play around windows,” lead worker Larry Brown said. “The dust gets on their hands and their toys.” Brown said his work isn't done until the lead is completely gone, helping homeowners one at a time.

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