This legislation changes the definition of “elevated lead level” by decreasing the blood lead level from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter. By doing so, the Department of Health will align with the level of concern set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012. With lead still being found in school drinking water, homes with deteriorating lead based paint and dust, and consumer products, creating a lower statutory standard will ensure that action is taken sooner to protect public health.
No amount of lead is considered safe in the human body or brain. As children are much more vulnerable because of their very sensitive developing organ systems, even a small amount lead can cause developmental disabilities, slowed growth, anemia and learning problems.
According to the Children’s Environmental Health Centers, more than 2,200 children in New York State each year are affected by lead poisoning. This bill is beneficial and crucial to continue to combat the negative effects of lead poisoning.
This bill amends public health law, in relation to the definition of elevated blood levels. It lowers the statutory standard for elevated blood lead levels from 10 pg/dl to the current standard of 5 pg/dl.