>> The trouble with Tyler Marchenne's new home began the moment she walked through the door.>> The housing really sucks.>> No stranger to picking up and moving, Marchenne's is a military family. Her husband's latest assignment brought them from North Carolina to the Army base at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Where, in her words,>> People are concerned with bugs, people are concerned with mold.>> And lurking in some homes, a significant health risk. A Reuters investigation reveals a dangerous threat to some families living on bases.>> Want a kid to be ingesting this kind of dust.>> Lead, the toxic metal present in homes largely owned and maintained not by the US government but private contractors.
At this Georgia base, The Villages of Benning is a partnership between two private companies and the US Army. Reuters correspondent Joshua Schneyer.>> I mean, these are families serving their country. And they trust military brass and the housing contractors on these bases to ensure that the housing that they live in is safe from hazards.
>> According to a 2017 Villages of Benning memo reviewed by Reuters, about three out of five homes at Fort Benning contain lead-based paint. Lead paint sales have been banned since 1978. It's presence in older homes is common and isn't always a hazard. But when it deteriorates and begins to peel, old lead paint becomes dangerous.
>> It comes off in chips, and then it'll fall->> With help from Columbia University, Reuters tested five homes at Benning, including Marchenne's, all had hazardous levels of deteriorating lead paint within the reach of children. One tested at 58 times the federal threshold.>> I would not want a child to be living in any room that has that kind of paint.
>> When Reuters informed the Army of the hazards uncovered, Fort Benning's garrison commander warned residents about unknown persons conducting testing, advising them not to cooperate and to call 911 to report suspicious activity. The Villages of Benning and the Army declined to comment on the hazards Reuters found. An Army spokeswoman said they are committed to providing a safe environment.