Lead Paint

Photo courtesy Jo Naylor 
Photo courtesy Jo Naylor 
Photo courtesy Jo Naylor 

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) adopted a lower blood lead level threshold for inspection and intervention, the Onieda Daily Dispatch reports. The change in threshold will now require health departments to provide home inspections and educational services for families with children who have blood lead levels at 5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) or greater.

“This change will help to ensure that more lead poisoning reduction activities are performed for children with elevated Blood Lead Levels and that they are receiving the necessary medical care,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said. “This new standard will aid us in the continued fight to make the homes in our community as lead safe as possible.”

Scientists have linked lead exposure to reduced growth indicators; delayed puberty; lowered IQ; hyperactivity; attention, behavior and learning problems and other adverse health effects.

“Not only will this change lead to increased services provided by the Oneida County Health Department, but it will also require that children’s primary health care providers provide lead risk assessments, education, counseling and follow-up interventions including nutritional and developmental assessments for all children reported to have BLLs 5 mcg/dL or greater,” Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, F.A.C.H.E.

Other states across the country have recently made changes to their blood lead level thresholds for both workers and children. Indiana is considering lowering the state's blood sampling threshold that triggers aid for children, while Michigan became the first state to lower acceptable blood lead levels for workers. California is expected to revise its lead exposure standard for workers and adopt a lower standard beginning in 2020.

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