Lawmakers want paint tested for lead at elevated subway stations

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THE BRONX -

Local lawmakers are pushing legislation to mandate paint at elevated subway tracks be tested for lead.

State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and state Sen. Jose Peralta are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would mandate the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit Authority to examine lead paint levels at elevated subway stations.

They say harmful lead particles could be falling from old paint at any of the elevated subway stations around the city, including the 50 in the Bronx, and that it could make people in the area sick.

A report earlier this year by a painters and allied trades union found that some samples of paint chips falling onto the street from the elevated No. 7 train line had more than 40 times the legal lead levels for paint.

One main concern raised by Assemblyman Dinowitz is that lead dust could potentially be falling into food sold at the many street vendors who operate under the tracks.

While an MTA spokesperson says he cannot comment on pending legislation, he pointed out that the New York City Transit Authority has a scraping and repainting program in place and has regularly scheduled inspections.

Bronx residents in the area say the bill would be a good idea.

"I think it's a great idea. I think it's about time that the city starts having more regulations on lead paint," says Deshaun Green, of Parkchester.

The Senate and Assembly passed the bill last month so it now rests in the hands of Gov. Cuomo.

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