LEWISTON — Maine’s second-largest city is trying to do something about lead paint in its homes.

Lewiston City Manager Ed Barrett says the city, along with medical and community organizations, will use federal grants totaling more than $3 million to tackle the problem.

He says the city was spurred to action because the lead poisoning rate for children in Lewiston is three times the state average.

The state toxicologist says more than 670 children in Lewiston and neighboring Auburn were poisoned by lead between 2003 and 2012.

The grants will be used for lead assessments for 225 downtown homes, interventions in 160 dwelling units and additional educational and outreach events. Lead was outlawed in household paint since 1978.

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