Lead remediation underway at 43 Town Square

LIMA — Managers at 43 Town Square apartments temporarily relocated several residents to a nearby hotel due to potential exposure to lead-based paint.

The Woda Cooper Group, which restored and started renting apartments in the former First National Bank and Trust building in 2019, confirmed in an email to The Lima News on Wednesday that it has been inspecting apartments and remediating exposed lead-based paint since January.

Inspectors hired by the company identified “small, isolated spots” of exposed lead-based paint in 28 apartments and eight community spaces, typically found above windows, according to a letter sent to tenants and media.

Remediation efforts started last month, during which six residents were relocated to a nearby hotel to reduce the risk of lead exposure with priority given to tenants with children, according to the letter.

Contractors removed flaking paint and encapsulated lead-based paint throughout the building, which was built in 1926, during the initial restoration process five years ago. But officials from the Woda Cooper Group told tenants that the paint may be damaged as a result of exterior water damage to the building.

Lead-based paint is a common hazard in homes and buildings built before the late 1970s.

Young children are at greater risk of lead poisoning, which causes developmental delays, learning disabilities and even death in severe cases after months or years of exposure to lead, because they absorb lead more easily and are more likely to chew on contaminated surfaces.

But adults can develop lead poisoning too, which may result in memory loss, mood disorders, fertility problems and pregnancy loss.