According to the Washington State Department of Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, more than 500 children in the state are identified each year with elevated levels of lead in their blood. The cause? Lead paint dust inside their homes.

Thanks to $3.3 million in recent grant funding, the Department of Health (DOH) announced it will be able to remove lead paint from 150 housing units and provide healthy housing services to low-income families with children.

“Lead exposure disproportionately affects low-income and minority children. These funds will allow us to address lead at the source. We’ll be able to remove lead from the homes these kids live in and prevent other children from being poisoned in that same house,” said Rad Cunningham, DOH Built Environment section manager.

By taking into account several data points including city size, geography, and childhood lead poisoning surveillance information, DOH chose 12 Washington cities in which the agency will conduct its lead paint reduction work. Those cities are: Tacoma, Centralia, SeaTac, Tukwila, Bremerton, Spokane, Longview, Burien, White Center, Aberdeen, Kelso, and Hoquiam.