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City Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Update

Currently, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment is coordinating with other local public health agencies, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to ensure accurate information is provided to the public, healthcare and other service providers, Denver International Airport staff, and regulated industries. We are relying on plans already in place for identifying, responding to, and isolating possible Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within Denver to reduce our risk of a local outbreak.

Learn more about local preparation, coordination, and resources for the most current information.

Interim guidance for child care programs and schools

Interim guidance for businesses and employers, including restaurants

The Healthy Families Healthy Homes (HFHH) program works to ensure the health and  safety of Denver residents through facility inspections and resources to improve home  safety. Programs within HFHH conduct regular inspections of various public facilities  including child care facilities, body art establishments, pools and events for noise  complaints. The Residential Health Program and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provide resources to families to make their homes safer.

Program Resources

Find information about our various programs

Body art establishments and individuals who perform body art procedures in Denver are required to obtain training in bloodborne pathogens and be licensed.

Complaint Information

Concerns that your body art has resulted in complications, infection or disease can be reported to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment:

Public Health Investigations - Body Art
101 W Colfax Ave, Suite 800
Denver, Colorado 80202
311 or 720-913-1311
phicomments@denvergov.org


Resources/Forms/Regulations

kids painting

This program provides outreach and education to help prevent children's exposures to lead and perform environmental investigations to find the source of lead for children who have elevated blood levels of lead in Denver.

The mission of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is to promote healthy and lead-safe environments for Denver’s children through public education, outreach, and case investigations and work to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by preventing environmental exposures to lead.

Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) was awarded $2.8 million to provide lead-based paint mitigation and abatement assistance to 130 low- and moderate-income homes through January 2021.

The funding will be administered by DDPHE and Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) will serve as the program’s general contractor. Under the grant, qualifying homes or apartments will receive a full lead-risk assessment as well as a health and safety assessment, and an abatement plan and abatement services.

To qualify for grant assistance, a home must:

  • Have been built prior to 1978
  • Contain deteriorated lead-based paint or high lead dust levels
  • House a child under the age of six at least 6 hours per week
  • House residents earning at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income (Family of 4 must be at or below $74,240 total household income)

Homeowners, as well as landlords renting to qualifying tenants, will be eligible. In addition to lead abatement services, the grant also includes $400,000 to address other healthy homes and safety hazards, such as trip and fall hazards, within qualifying homes. Homeowner-occupied units will receive a full grant for all services performed and landlords will receive up to $10,000 of grant assistance.

If you are interested in learning more or think you may qualify, please contact Denver Urban Renewal Authority at 303-534-3872 and ask for the Lead Hazard Control Program.


What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning has been identified as the number one preventable environmental health threat to children in the United States. The leading cause of childhood lead poisoning in the U.S. today is the ingestion of lead-based paint and the associated contaminated dust and soil found in or around older houses.

Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Young children under the age of 6 are most at risk of becoming lead poisoned. Because children are growing and their brains are developing so rapidly, even low levels of lead can potentially cause permanent brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavioral problems, and result in lower IQ.

Other symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness, and irritability. There have been some rare cases of lead poisoning causing convulsions, coma and even death.


How do I know if my child has lead poisoning?

A blood test is the only way to know if your child is lead poisoned.

Most children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick and the symptoms are not particularly obvious.

Ask your doctor or health care provider about a blood lead test if you think your child may be at risk.

Your child may be at risk if:

  • He/She lives in or spends significant time in a home built before 1978. Pre-1978 homes often contain lead-based paint
  • If the paint on your house is in poor condition (interior or exterior)
  • You are renovating/remodeling your home built before 1978 where lead-based paint may become disturbed
  • You cook with pottery that is imported from another country

A common source of lead poisoning is children touching flakes or deteriorated house paint (like you might find on an old wooden house window) and then putting their fingers in their mouths.  It only takes a few flakes to poison a child. 

Also important to note:

Lead in dust is invisible and this dust can be very hazardous to children. Be sure to regularly wet wipe windowsill or floor surfaces below old painted windows that may be rubbing against each other creating dust, and regularly wipe floors under and near old painted doors that may be rubbing against frames causing friction and creating lead dust.


Other sources of lead exposure may include:

  • Bare soil contaminated from chipping, peeling, or flaking paint.
  • Some imported toys or other consumer products. These are much less likely than lead exposure caused by deteriorated lead-based paint, but the following link is a good source to research any recent recalls because of lead: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/
  • Tamarind, chili powder, and chili coated candies from other countries: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/candy.htm
  • Handmade or imported pottery and imported low-cost dishes
  • Home remedies from another country, such as azarcon and greta. Some ayurvedic medicine products may contain other harmful poisons like mercury or arsenic, as well as lead: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/folkmedicine.htm

What can I do to prevent lead poisoning?

Remember that lead poisoning is preventable, and you can take some simple steps to keep your family safe.

  1. Keep children away from chipping, peeling or flaking house paint, if the structure was built before 1978. If you live in a pre-1978 home, know that it may contain lead-based paint. Learn to work lead-safe if you’re going to disturb the paint and insist that any hired contractor is certified to do the work safely, per the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.**

    **EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. (http://www2.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program)

    Watch a short video on the importance of the RRP rule here:
  2. Wash children’s hands frequently and regularly wipe down high contact areas like painted window sills where children may put their hands or mouths.
  3. Monitor the condition of your home’s paint and move to action if the paint is in a deteriorated condition. If you rent, tell your landlord about chipping or peeling paint. Clean up paint chips with a wet paper towel and place them in the trash.
  4. Don’t sand or dry scrape paint in old homes. You could create lead dust that is potentially hazardous to children.
  5. Don’t let children eat dirt. Don’t track dirt inside; remove shoes when entering the house.
  6. Limit your child’s consumption of Mexican candies, especially if they contain tamarind or chili.
  7. Do not give your child home remedies (like azarcon or greta) from other countries. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  8. Do not use imported pots to cook or store food (like Mexican bean pots), unless you are sure they are lead-safe.
  9. Don’t bring lead home from your work.  For example, if you work in construction, are a house painter, or otherwise potentially exposed to lead, learn to work lead-safe and don’t bring it home with you. If you do work in these industries, a safe practice is to change your shoes and clothes before you get into your car as to not track any lead dust with you on your way home.

For more information on keeping your family safe from lead, download a brochure:


Additional Local Resources

There are multiple government agencies and community-based organizations in Denver working to prevent childhood lead poisoning and DDPHE partners with many of them. Links to websites and additional information on specific programs are listed below:

Based in Denver County

Those based in Denver County will license their company and permit their vehicles with The City and County of Denver.

Applications for company licensure and vehicle permits should include the following:

  • Completed and notarized Multi-County application form.
  • Certificates of insurance.
  • Physician-signed drug list.
  • List of all personnel including training and certification dates.
  • List of the vehicles being inspected.
  • The current schedule of rates and hours. (This is a Denver only requirement)
  • Fees made payable to the Manager of Revenue. $50 per vehicle, $30 per non-emergency vehicle, and $105 for the company license. If you are a new company, applying for the first time, a license process fee of $150 should be included.
  • Vehicle condition reports must be completed and kept on site for review by the inspector.

Not Based In Denver County

Those not based in Denver County will license their companies with the City and County of Denver. (Your vehicles will be permitted/licensed per the county you are based in.)

Applications for company licensure and vehicle permits should include the following:

  • Completed and notarize Multi County application form.
  • Certificates of insurance
  • List of the vehicles being inspected.
  • The current schedule of rates and hours. (This is a Denver only requirement)
  • $105.00 made payable to the Manager of Revenue. If you are a new company, applying for the first time, a license process fee of $150 should be included.

Resources

Inquiries about licensing, application process or file complaints: Email phicomments@denvergov.org. Call 311 or 720-913-1311.

Multi-county licensing/inspection coordinator (Based in Jefferson County): Call 303-271-5716.

Denver has had a community noise program since 1973 when the Noise Ordinance (Denver Revised Municipal Code DRMC, Chapter 36) was passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor. The Noise Ordinance was enacted to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace and quiet for the citizens of the city through the reduction, control, and prevention of noise.
Read the full Denver Noise Ordinance.


Noise Complaints

To File a Noise Complaint, Call 3-1-1
Learn more about the noise complaints, the process, and how to submit complaints.

If you have received an Administrative Citation and wish to appeal, please follow the Board Rules and Regulations Governing Hearings.


Noise Reducing Barriers

For those requiring a structure or barrier as a means of complying with a noise complaint regarding an A/C unit, or similar system, a permit for the structure will most likely be required. The links below will provide good information on the steps you need to follow to obtain a permit for a noise reducing barrier.


Additional Noise Program Information:


Monthly Nighttime Noise Variance Monitoring Updates:

Public Health Investigations regulates swimming facilities in the City and County of Denver.

These public pools are located in apartment complexes, hotels, public recreation centers, hospitals, and health clubs.
Pools and spas are inspected on a routine basis. 
All of our inspectors are Certified Pool Spa Operators through the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

Swimming pools are inspected for the following:

  • Quality of the water. Disinfectant, pH levels, total alkalinity, and temperature.
  • Safety equipment. Guard lines, rescue hooks & rings, emergency phone or alarm.
  • Quality of the facility. General cleanliness and adequate construction.
  • Quality of the pool equipment. Pump room equipment, condition of plumbing & chemical storage.

Plan Review

For plan review of new or extensively remodeled swimming pools contact the Building Department at 720-865-2832


Administrative Citations

If you have received an Administrative Citation and wish to appeal, please follow the Board Rules and Regulations Governing Hearings.

Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, cancer-causing gas that enters buildings through the numerous cracks, holes, and pipes in the foundation. It can also enter a building from well water.

Radon can be found in any building, but homes are the most concerning since that’s where families spend the most time.

Approximately 50 percent of homes in Colorado have elevated radon levels. The EPA has ranked Denver as "Zone 1," which means the average house will likely exceed the EPA's action level of 4.0 pCi/L.


Radon Can Cause Cancer

Radon breaks down into radioactive particles that can cause cancer when inhaled. These radioactive particles can damage the cells in our lungs and increase the risk of lung cancer.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year and about $2 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity. The Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study tracked nearly 1,000 women who had lived in their homes for more than 20 years. The results of the case-control study (after adjusting for age, smoking, and other factors) indicated that a 20-year exposure of radon levels at the EPA guideline of 4.0 pCi/L yielded an increased lung cancer risk of 50 percent.


Radon and Smoking is a Deadly Combination

Smokers exposed to high concentrations of radon have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer than being exposed to either substance individually. The risk of lung cancer from radon gas is estimated to be approximately 10-15 times greater for persons who smoke cigarettes in comparison with those who have never smoked. Get help quitting tobacco.


The Face of Radon-Related Lung Cancer

The following video features Johanna Carpine of Wellington, Colorado. She was diagnosed with radon-related lung cancer in 2013. After a two-year battle, Johanna died on August 21, 2015.


Resources

radon infographic page 1

Radon Infographic Page 1 (text only PDF)

radon infographic page 2

Radon Infographic Page 2 (text only PDF)

Residential Health Investigations strives to protect, preserve, and promote the physical and mental health, and safety of residents in houses, apartments, hotels, motels, shelters, bed & breakfast establishments, rooming & boarding houses, etc. Investigations are conducted based on complaints.

Minimum housing standard requirements include:

  • properly connected and functioning equipment and facilities such as toilets, kitchen sinks, bathtubs or showers;
  • proper lighting, ventilation, and heating;
  • safe and sanitary dwellings;
  • supplied utility services such as water, electricity, and gas;
  • minimum space for occupancy; and
  • pest-free living through preventing such pests as cockroaches, mice, bedbugs, mosquitos, etc.
  • Hotels, motels, bed & breakfast establishments, and rooming & boarding houses are when a complaint is filed.

Rules and Regulations

If you have received an Administrative Citation and wish to appeal, please follow the Board Rules and Regulations Governing Hearings.


Resources


Meth Contaminated Property

For meth-related questions, contact Public Health Investigations at 720-913-1311.

This program was established to regulate Syringe Access Programs (SAP) engaging in hypodermic syringe exchange.

The Rules and Regulations Governing Syringe Access Programs are established to regulate hypodermic syringe exchange, hereinafter “syringe” access. Agencies participating in the syringe access program (“SAP”) will provide sterile hypodermic syringes in exchange for used hypodermic syringes, needles or other objects used to inject substances into the body; provide education to participants on the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C; and provide referral to HIV and viral hepatitis screening programs and substance use treatment services for participants and their partners.

Enforcement tools used by the Division of Public Health Investigations to achieve compliance include civil penalties, court summonses, retention of equipment, closure of businesses, and placards placed on residences when an imminent health hazard exists. The level of enforcement might vary depending on the nature of the violation, the duration of non-compliance, the history of non-compliance, the number of rule violations, and other applicable factors.

View the fine schedule for violations of rules pertaining to Noise, Residential Health, Pools, Lead, Child Care and Body Art.

 

Inspection Hours

Summer Hours (April through October):

Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
 

Winter Hours (November through March):

Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 
Contact the Public Health Inspections Division

101 W Colfax Ave., 8th Floor 
Denver, CO 80202 
720-913-1311
Fax: 720-865-5534 
phicomments@denvergov.org


Need to file a complaint?

Complaints can be filed with the Public Health Investigations Division for issues related to :

  • Food Safety & Regulated Food Facilities
  • Foodborne Illness (Submit Online)
  • Residential Housing
  • Body Art
  • Swimming Pools
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Child Care 
  • Noise

An investigator will follow up with you to let you know the outcome of the investigation.

Please note that most complaints, as well as other inspection records and reports we generate, are considered public records.


To report child abuse or neglect:

Please call 720-944-3000 to be connected to the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. 

 
 


Media Relations

Ann Cecchine-Williams
Interim Communications Director
720-865-5427

Tammy Vigil
Manager of Media Relations
720-865-8848

 


Department of Public Health and Environment

Additional Contact Information

For CORA Requests, please contact Media Relations.
Citywide CORA Policy


Report a Problem | Ask a Question

 


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