BILL NUMBER: S1002
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the public health law, the real property law, the tax
law, the state finance law, the multiple dwelling law, the multiple
residence law, the social services law, and the insurance law, in
relation to enacting the "childhood lead poisoning prevention and safe
housing act of 2009"; and to repeal certain provisions of the public
health law relating thereto
To improve New York's current laws that focus on secondary prevention.
Because lead poisoning causes irreparable damage, it is now widely
accepted that primary prevention is the key to ending lead. poisoning.
We cannot wait until the detection of elevated lead in a child's blood
before acting to remedy the environmental sources of it. New York's
children should not be used as the litmus test for detecting and
correcting lead hazards.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
New York still has over 10,000 children identified each year with
blood lead levels that are considered "elevated." The proposed bill
would require the state Department of Health (NYSDOH) to oversee and
implement intensive primary prevention plans in communities with the
greatest number of cases of lead poisoning in the previous year.
NYSDOH would work with county departments of health to coordinate
local efforts. cities, towns and villages would be encouraged to
enter into agreements with the state to implement aspects of the
program locally. Various other sections of law would be amended to
accomplish the goals of this legislation, including the Real property,
Tax, Multiple Dwelling, Social Services and Insurance Laws.
A cornerstone of the primary prevention approach is the requirement
that all rental properties built before 1970 (except, multiple
dwellings in New York City, which are already covered by Local Law 1
of 2004) be certified as either "lead free," "lead contained," or
"lead stabilized" and periodically re-certified to ensure that they do
not present a lead hazard if persons at risk of lead poisoning (young
children and pregnant women) reside there. Properties would need to
meet the standards within two years of passage of the law.
Primary prevention would be accomplished by requesting investigations
at least annually by property owners, by certified inspectors every
three years for "lead-contained" and "lead stabilized" properties,
upon renting/leasing a dwelling; and sooner and more frequently if
there was a reasonable basis to believe that a condition existed that
was conducive to creating a lead hazard. For example, if a leak caused
damage that compromised the painted surface making it susceptible to
produce chipping, peeling or otherwise create lead dust.
The inspection and certification requirement would apply to rental
dwellings built before 1970 in New York (except New York City multiple
dwellings). The legislation also would strengthen some of the
inspection and disclosure requirements for home sales. The state would
be required to focus its efforts and resources on 30 municipalities
and areas within communities that have the highest concentrations of
children testing with elevated blood lead levels. The bill also would
require intervention by local health departments whenever a child has
a level of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood ("ug/dL") or
greater. The Health commissioner would be authorized to set a lower
threshold. Dust wipe clearance tests would be required after lead
clean ups are conducted to ensure that they had been performed
properly and the dwelling was safe for a child to return.
This legislation would create tax credits for property owners and
require the state to issue bonds to create a revolving loan fund to
provide resources for low-coat or no-cost loans for property owners to
comply with the law and eliminate or reduce lead hazards. These tax
credits and loans would also apply to multiple dwellings in New York
Each year in New York State an additional 10,000 children under the
age of six years are newly identified as having blood lead levels of
10 ug/dL or greater, the action level under federal Centers for
Disease control and Prevention ("CDC") guidelines. The actual number
of cases is undoubtedly much higher, given that only about 1/3 of one
and two year olds are screened as required by state law.
Although New York state banned the sale of lead paint in 1970 (1.1970,
ch. 338), seventy-four percent of New York's housing stock has
constructed prior to 1970. New York State has both the largest
percentage and the largest absolute number of older housing units with
lead paint in the nation, and the second highest number of children
with elevated blood lead levels.
Medical research indicates that children can suffer permanent,
irreparable damage at blood levels even lover than 10 ug/dL, and that
there is no level of lead ingest,ion which is without adverse impact.
Medical research also indicates that fetal injuries from ingested lead
can occur if women have elevated blood levels during pregnancy.
Moreover, there is no level of lead ingestion that does not injure
children. Lead poisoning results in the impairment of the ability to
think, concentrate and learn. Prevention is the only way to protect
children from irreversible damage.
Because of this, intervention measures that wait until children have
been exposed have limited benefits, and the pursuit of primary
prevention, which means eliminating lead hazards before children are
exposed,. has been recommended by the CDC, the U. S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development ("HUO") , and promoted by leading,
experts in the field as a critical course or action to protect the
health of young children. As the CDC has stated:
Evidence suggests that the benefits of secondary prevention are
To ensure successful elimination of elevated (blood lead levels) in
children, programs must not rely solely on screening and secondary
prevention but also focus on preventing lead exposure through the
implementation of housing-based primary prevention.
PREVENTING LEAD EXPOSURE IN YOUNG CHILDREN, A HOUSING-BASED APPROACH
TO PRIMARY PREVENTION OF LEAD POISONING , October 2004, ct 9.
Exposure to deteriorating lead-based paint in older residences results
in increased expenses each year for the state of New York in the form
of special education and other education expenses, medical care for
lead poisoned children, and expenditures for delinquent youth and
others needing special supervision.
While lead paint hazards are found in urban, suburban and rural areas,
data compiled by HUD shows that the greatest lead poisoning threats
are in those areas with older, deteriorated housing, primarily
rentals, where lower income and non-white New Yorkers reside.
Unfortunately, while the public health dimensions of lead paint in New
York's housing stock has long been recognized, the regulatory response
remains inadequate. In fact, back in 1970, in New York's first attempt
to limit the lead poisoning epidemic by enacting Title X of Article 13
of the Public Health Law (codified at PHL § 1370 et seg.), the
The occurrence of the disease of lead poisoning in children has became
a major public health concern. Severe lead poisoning cases result in
death or mental retardation. It is estimated that children in our
nation with abnormally high blood levels of lead number in the
hundreds of thousands. Many thousands of children in the cities of our
state are actual or potential victims of lead poisoning. The disease
of lead poisoning is most prevalent in areas of old and deteriorating
housing where leaded paint and plaster in a peeling condition is
accessible for ingestion by young children.
Lead poisoning is a disease which will require the concerted effort of
public health agencies and other agencies concerned with the
availability of healthful housing for the people of our state before
the disease can be brought under control and its incidence reduced.
Nearly four decades later, New York still lacks critical mechanisms to
control, avoid, and abate lead-based paint hazards in the dwellings of
vulnerable children before they become irreparably harmed. While the
NYSDOH has called for the elimination of childhood lead poisoning in
New York state by 2010, these goals cannot be met unless a
comprehensive, primary prevention approach becomes the law of this
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
Unable to determine at this time.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
Unable to determine at this time.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
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