City Reports Record Low in Lead Poisoning Cases

City Reports Record Low in Lead Poisoning Cases

In an annual report released last Friday to the City Council, the Health Department announced that the number of young children with lead poisoning in 2010 remains at a historic low.

According to the report, the agency recorded 1,429 poisonings among children under the age of six. This is almost equal to the `1,431 reported instances in 2009.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said that the Health Department will continue to monitor cases and look at high risk communities to limit lead exposure.

“We know lead paint is the main cause of lead poisoning and young children are most at risk,” Farley said. “It is critically important that landlords follow the law and safely repair peeling lead paint in homes with young children. Too many children, especially those living in older, poorly maintained housing, are still vulnerable to this serious but preventable health problem.”

Lead poisoning is defined as having a blood lead level of 10 or more micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. It can cause learning and behavior problems, even at low levels.

State law requires doctors to test children at or around the ages of one and two, but those with elevated blood lead levels may not show symptoms.


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