Chester City Leads the Way In Lead Prevention Initiatives

Lead HazardsImage by Rebecca Matthews

CHESTER, PA — The Lead-Free Promise Project, a statewide coalition of more than 60 organizations across the state, in partnership with the Delaware County Lead Prevention Coalition and the city of Chester hosted a press conference yesterday announcing a new lead ordinance in a continued effort to end lead paint poisoning in Pennsylvania.

“Even though lead paint was banned for residential use in 1978, about 81% of residential properties in Delaware County were built before 1980 — causing nearly 250 Delaware County children to still be poisoned every year,” said City of Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland. “Our babies and families need protection from toxic lead, and with this new lead ordinance, we are actively making our city safer and improving property values, while working to combat this 100% preventable issue.”

The Chester Lead Poisoning Prevention & Lead Hazard Control Ordinance will require lead paint inspection and testing for any rental property, child day-care centers, condemned buildings, and any building involved in property transfers built before 1978. Prior to this ordinance, landlords were only required to correct any defective surface conditions that might indicate a danger of lead paint poisoning. Now, landlords and building owners will be required to certify that the property is lead-free or lead-safe, regardless of a child residing in the property.

“For the oldest city in Pennsylvania, this ordinance is critical in the effort to end lead paint poisoning — and a huge win for children and families across our whole Commonwealth,” said Rosemarie Halt, Interim Health Policy Director, Children First. “Municipalities play a powerful role in protecting our children by moving the needle to once and for all end lead paint poisoning, and we applaud the City of Chester, and encourage other cities and boroughs to pass similar measures.”

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The Lead-Free Promise Project provides a resource guide to communities like Chester — “Using Municipal Codes and Other Strategies to Protect PA Children form Lead Paint Poisoning & Improve Property Values” — which defines six steps municipalities can take to get chipping, peeling and dusting paint out of homes to protect our children and improve property values.

Joining Mayor Kirkland was City of Chester Councilman Stefan Roots, Rosemarie Halt, Interim Health Policy Director at Children First, Amy Martin RN, Nurse Family Partnership Director at The Foundation for Delaware County, Steve Fischer, Executive Director of the Chester Housing Authority and member of the Delaware County Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition and the PA Lead Free Promise Project, and Ieasa Nichols, City of Chester resident and parent.

To learn more and access the resource guide, visit:

LFPP launched its over 60-organization coalition in 2021 vowing to remove lead paint-based hazards from homes and ensuring all children are screened for lead poisoning as part of a comprehensive wellness exam. Learn more at

LFPP is part of, a non-partisan, statewide campaign that seeks to improve the quality of and increase equitable access to a coordinated system of health supports, including access to comprehensive perinatal health services, children’s health insurance, nutrition supports and lead screening and abatement.

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