ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A Rock Hill mother was recently forced to leave the house she is renting because of high lead levels.
Mikea Evans moved into the home of Howard Street last February and knew there was lead present in the home, but said she didn’t know it was this bad.
Evans was notified by her children’s doctors after their blood tests came back positive with high levels of lead. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control investigated and tested the home and discovered high levels of lead in the paint on the front porch header, the front window, the door frame, the mantle and a closet door.
The DHEC said that areas where lead paint has been applied and then deteriorated represents “a significant lead hazard to children under age six.”
The Evans children have been getting fevers, colds and sick stomachs, which Evans says is tied to the lead paint. Evans is fighting with her landlord over late rent and money she says she wants back.
Tom Hutto, the landlord, said he is glad the children are leaving a dangerous environment and that he was concerned for their health. Hutto also said he made several attempts to get into the property to make repairs and even offered Evans another unit, but she refused both offers.
Long term exposure to lead can cause brain damage and mental inabilities in children. Lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes before it was banned in 1978 due to its harmful effects. It can still be found in many 1950’s and 60’s style homes, especially on window sills and door frames.
Sellers and landlords are required to disclose any potential lead dangers on the property.
If you think you have lead paint in your home, seek professional help to fix it. If you do the work yourself, experts recommend that you Do not sand it or scrape it as you will create a lead dust which is very harmful.
Evans says she is just glad to be leaving this home.