NORRISTOWN - The Municipality of Norristown is proud to announce that more than 50 percent of all rental housing units in Norristown now meet the highest standards for lead safety.
The Norristown Building and Codes Compliance Department has successfully certified over 4,350 housing units as lead-free and/or lead-safe since Municipal Council adopted the Lead Poisoning Prevention and Lead Hazard Control Ordinance (Ordinance 21-14), the first municipal-level lead safety ordinance passed in Montgomery County.
Prior to the adoption of Ord. 21-14 in Nov. 2021, Norristown Municipal Council and municipal leadership had met with and learned from the Montgomery County Lead Paint Task Force that Norristown’s children have the highest blood lead levels in the county. The task force shared that one out of three children in the county whose blood lead levels were above 5 micrograms per deciliter live in Norristown. Five micrograms is the level determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be higher than most children’s levels.
Norristown officials also learned that the municipality has almost four times as many children who tested for blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter when compared to those in Flint, Michigan during the water crisis of 2014 (11.8 percent versus 3.2 percent, respectively) and a higher percentage than Pittsburgh (8.32 percent) and Philadelphia (10.19 percent).
Lead paint poisoning occurs when individuals are exposed to lead-containing paint and its dust or chips, particularly in houses built before 1978. According to the CDC, lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems, particularly in developing children and fetuses.
"The Municipal Council is committed to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of its residents, and the adoption and implementation of this ordinance is a testament to that dedication,” stated Municipal Administrator Crandall Jones. “We commend the great work by our Building and Codes Compliance Manager, Amrinder Singh, and his team in collaborating with property owners, realtors, community members and all other stakeholders to make this program a success.”
For more information on lead poisoning and the Lead Poisoning Prevention and Lead Hazard Control Ordinance you can read this handbook the municipality published in early 2022.