HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg is working to protect residents — especially children and pregnant women — from lead exposure as part of a $5.5 million effort to address lead in homes throughout the city.

The focus is on homes that were built before 1978 when a lot of lead-based products were used. The city will conduct a risk assessment of residences that house children under 6 years old or pregnant women. Families of assessed houses will be relocated while abatement efforts are completed.

Get daily news, weather, breaking news, and sports alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here. 

“It is making a difference,” Dennise Hill, director of the city’s Department of Building and Housing Development, said. Hill says the work helps to “stabilize the neighborhoods in the city and (make) sure that everyone has a healthy place to live.”

City officials are encouraging family members to be on the lookout for children who have a change in behavior or health.

“If a child comes in and experiences signs such as an elevated blood level, we can come in and have an applicant have a risk assessment done for the program,” Hill said.

Those who meet the qualifications can apply for Lead Safe Program help here.