As one of Maine’s oldest mill towns, Biddeford is one of five High-Risk Areas designated by the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) for having the greatest burden of children with lead poisoning. In 2018, 342 children under age six in Biddeford were screened. Of those, an estimated 14 children had a blood level at or above 5 ug/dL.
There are approximately 950 children under age six living in just over 5,000 housing units within the qualifying downtown area. Approximately 85.4% of the housing in this area pre-dates 1978.
Roughly 65% of the population in the target area is classified as low income. Low income individuals are considered to be at a higher risk for lead poisoning.