Bill Memo: Tackling Toxic Lead Exposure

1-Tree: Beneficial rating


This bill directs the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health to establish environmental standards for ambient lead and lead contamination in soils and on floors and windowsills.


This bill would direct the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to set or update standards governing exposure to lead dust, lead soil, and lead in ambient air. These standards would determine when important remediation efforts must occur to eliminate exposure to a dangerous neurotoxin.

There is no safe level of lead exposure. Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead, which can cause impaired speech and hearing, neurological damage, and other harmful health effects.

Lead poisoning is one of the greatest public health threats facing New York. In 2019, 28,820 New York children (12 percent of births) had blood lead levels greater than 2 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL). This high rate is largely driven by lead paint from New York’s old housing stock.

Many of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards to protect Americans from lead exposure, including standards for lead in soil and lead in ambient air, have not been updated for decades, despite new science confirming that any level of lead exposure is toxic. EPA did propose stronger standards on lead dust in July 2023, though these standards have not yet been finalized.

This bill will ensure that New York utilizes the most up-to-date science to implement lead standards that will fully protect human health and ensure that this dangerous neurotoxin is fully eliminated from our environment.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 41