State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) announced his office will be participating in the Children's Lead Carnival/Health Fair on Monday, Nov. 7th, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Harry Hoag Elementary School in Fort Plain.
"According to Montgomery County Public Health, lead poisoning is a major health concern in Montgomery County, especially in the Fort Plain and Amsterdam areas, due to the peeling and chipping of paint from houses built prior to 1968," Senator Farley said.
According to the State Department of Health, lead poisoning is one of the most prevalent and preventable childhood health problems in New York State, Senator Farley said. "That is why our State's Lead Poisoning Prevention Act is one of the leading programs in the nation for screening young children for lead poisoning. The Act requires all pediatric health care providers to screen one- and two-year-olds for lead levels in their blood streams as part of routine child care and to also assess children between the ages of six months and six years for their risk of lead poisoning."
Senator Farley said that lead can be toxic at levels previously thought to be safe. Children with low levels of exposure can suffer from low IQs, developmental disabilities, and behavioral disturbances. At higher levels of exposure, mental retardation, nervous system disorders, kidney damage and high blood pressure can occur, Senator Farley added.
"Since most children who have lead poisoning don't look sick, it is important to have children tested regularly," Senator Farley said. Some symptoms of lead poisoning can include moodiness or irritability, constipation, short attention span, headaches and joint or muscle pain.
Senator Farley has a free and informative brochure on lead poisoning that will be available at his booth on Nov. 7th. Copies are also available at his office by calling 455-2181 (Albany), 843-2188 (Amsterdam), 762-3733 (Johnstown), or toll-free at (800) 224-5201.