Senator Robach Announces Legislation To Prevent Lead Poisoning In Children

Joseph E. Robach

August 08, 2008

            The New York State Senate today gave final legislative approval to a bill (S.6350), sponsored by Senator Robach, to establish the “Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention and Safe Housing Act” to encourage lead remediation and assist property owners and residents with removed lead hazards from their homes.


            “Although the Senate passed legislation earlier this year that would have made the provisions of this bill effective immediately, in the interest of ensuring that we move forward to eliminate the harmful effects of lead paint in our communities, I was very happy to work to achieve a compromise to get this  legislation passed today,” said Senator Joe Robach.  “When fully implemented, this bill will help eradicate lead paint exposure in homes to almost zero.  While there will be a financial impact related to health care costs, the prevention of human, physical, developmental, and learning disabilities resulting from lead paint poisoning will be avoided and save significant treatment dollars in the future.”


            Under the legislation, homeowners and landlords could receive a tax credit to cover fifty percent of the cost to get rid of hazardous lead paint in homes built prior to 1978 (up to $1500 per property, $5000 per taxpayer). In addition, the bill would ensure proper screening of one and two-year-olds and pregnant women, and all children who are considered “at risk” until they reach the age of six. The legislation also calls for a public awareness campaign to educate the public on the dangers of lead paint.


             When children are exposed to excessive amounts of lead, the risk of brain damage and other developmental disabilities increases. The use of lead paint was banned in 1978; however, exposure in homes built prior to that year continues, particularly in Upstate New York. New York State has the highest number of houses that still contain lead paint in the entire nation.


            The bill will be sent to the Governor for his approval.