COLUMBIA – Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health announced the launch of a 10-year community health improvement initiative aimed at eliminating childhood lead poisoning in Lancaster County. Lead-Free Families will identify and remediate lead hazards in at least 2,800 Lancaster County homes over the next decade. With a $50 million investment, the comprehensive program is the first of its kind in the U.S. to be initially funded and led by a health care system. Lead exposure and poisoning is a significant health issue among children in Lancaster County, which has the fourth-highest rate of lead poisoning in PA. Lead poisoning can result in serious and lifelong health and developmental issues, including slowed growth, learning problems, behavioral issues, hyperactivity, and hearing and speech development problems. It can also cause pregnancy problems, including low birth weight, premature birth, damage to the baby’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system; and even miscarriage. For more information or to apply for the program, visit, or call 717-544-LEAD (5323).