This legislation changes the definition of “elevated lead level” by decreasing the blood lead level from 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dl) to 5 μg/dl. 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 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 New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers, more than 2,200 children in New York are affected by lead poisoning each year. This bill is crucial to continue to combat the negative effects of lead poisoning.
This bill amends Section 1370 of the public health law, in relation to the definition of elevated blood levels. It lowers the statutory standard for elevated blood lead levels from 10 μg/dl to the current standard of 5 μg/dl.