DOH: High levels of lead found in NYC children’s blood in 2019

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The Department of Health says children in private and public housing tested in the city saw high levels of lead in their blood in 2019. Now, new legislation is aimed at preventing them from getting sick.

The legislation awaiting the mayor's signature calls for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to audit buildings that have the highest risk of lead poisoning.

Startling data from the DOH reported that from January to September of 2019, 564 children in Bronx private and public housing under the age of 18 showed blood lead levels of 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood.

That data was compared to only 207 other cases in Manhattan between the same time frame.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they consider a blood lead level of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood a need for concern. They also state that studies show a lesser amount can have adverse effects on children.

Health officials in the city are urging parents of children under the age of 6 to be hyper-aware of symptoms. Some of those symptoms may be nausea, constipation, soreness, pain in the joints, fatigue or difficulty sleeping.

With many New Yorkers living in buildings built before the 1960s, lead paint in homes is a danger. This is why the City Council passed the legislation in order to get privately owned and NYCHA buildings up to code and to hold landlords accountable.

However, they say that if a child is under the age of 6 in the apartment, the investigation must be done within one year. The legislation states that a building owner can't do the investigation themselves and that it needs to be done by a third party, as well as the removal of lead paint.

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