When he went to remodel his home in DeForest, lead exposure was the last thing on Jonathon Bader's mind. The father of three fell ill though as he sanded the old frames of his windows. Weeks later, all three of his daughters were discovered to have toxic levels of lead in their blood as well.
State health officials estimate that nearly 400,000 homes in Wisconsin still contain hazardous levels of lead. Many of those homes were built before 1950 and still have their original window frames, which are commonly covered with lead paint. Nearly 80-percent of the contamination is located in those areas.
State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) says the continued presence of lead in homes is partially to blame for the nearly 44,000 children who are exposed to dangerous levels of lead each year.
Bader was among several lawmakers and property owners at the Capitol Wednesday, to launch an effort to help get the lead-coated windows out of older homes. Proposed legislation would establish a revolving loan fund that would help home owners replace the old windows with energy efficient and lead-free models. The fund would be financed through a 50-cent per gallon tax on paint.