TITLE OF BILL:
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
lead poisoning prevention and safe housing act of 2013";
and to repeal certain provisions of the public health law relating
PURPOSE: To improve New York's current laws that
focus on secondary
prevention. 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
identified each year with blood lead levels that are considered
"elevated." The proposed bill would require the state Department of
(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
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
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
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
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
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
JUSTIFICATION: Each year in New York State an
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
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 ("HUD") , 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 limited.
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 legislature declared:
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
2012: Referred to Health; Amended and recommitted to Health print
2011: Referred to Health
2010: Referred to Health; Reported & Committed to Finance
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Unable to determine at this time.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Unable to determine at
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.