Senator pushes lead testing bill for children amid NYCHA scandal

In light of the recent revelations that NYCHA buildings weren’t inspected for lead paint, a state senator introduced a bill Monday that would require children get tested for lead exposure.

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D-Crown Heights) said his bill would require documentation that shows students entering kindergarten, second and fourth grades were tested for lead poisoning, similar to immunizations. Although lead paint has been outlawed from city buildings, Hamilton said the NYCHA investigation has left a lot of parents worried about their family’s health.

“Every parent raising a family in NYCHA housing deserves to know that their apartment is not poisoning them,” he said in a statement.

“We have not seen this legislation and cannot comment on it specifically,” NYCHA said in a statement. “While Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data tells us that lead levels in children under the age of 6 in New York are at historic lows, one child with elevated levels is still one child too many.”

A report by the Department of Investigation released in November found that, beginning in 2013, the agency stopped conducting required visual assessments for lead paint inspections and falsely told the federal government that it had completed them.

NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye has been under heavy criticism and scrutiny for her role in the mismanagement, but maintains she did not deliberately mislead anyone.


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