NEW YORK, NY- Wcbs880.com reports that lead was an issue brought up in a City Council hearing last Thursday, September 27, 2018. The issue impacts both public housing and private residences in the city.
There are some tenant’s rights advocates who are claiming that the concern over lead is really just a means of harassing minorities who live in the city’s gentrifying neighborhoods. Landlords are accused of trying to force renters who have rent-controlled apartments out by forcing them to endure constant construction and renovations that subject them to dust and noise.
The City Council is reviewing close to a dozen bills that address the issue of lead and the negative impacts on children who are exposed to lead. Lead is associated with learning difficulties, high blood pressure, and impaired kidney function.
In 2005, the New York Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act was implemented. The Act is credited with reducing the number of children with a high blood lead level by 90 percent. The city’s acting Health Commissioner says that he believes now the city has to complete its efforts and lower the number to zero children with high blood lead levels.
The proposed legislation will expand efforts to test for lead paint and address the need for remediation. Landlords who are in violation of current laws regarding lead paint would also be subjected to penalties for their lack of compliance.
According to the Corey Johnson, a City Council Speaker, 4,261 children in New York City under 6 years old had dangerously high blood lead levels. Johnson said that the number of children exposed to lead is tragic and preventable.
Lead is common in older buildings in New York City, and the laws intended to prevent exposure are often ignored.
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