[Lead Paint\New York City Council]
New Yorkers are still being negatively impacted by lead paint used in buildings decades ago and not properly removed. Children are most at risk of lead poisoning, and can suffer from lifelong impairments, including developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. In 2018, nearly 4,000 children were identified as having elevated blood lead levels.
The New York City Council on Thursday will vote on legislation to strengthen the existing lead laws, close loopholes that endanger children, and increase protections for pregnant women from the devastating effects of lead poisoning.
The use of lead paint was banned in 1960, yet New Yorkers are still being negatively impacted by lead paint used in buildings decades ago and not properly removed. Children are most at risk of lead poisoning, and can suffer from lifelong impairments, including developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. In 2018, nearly 4,000 children were identified as having elevated blood lead levels.
As a result, the City Council has pushed to strengthen the lead laws. In 2019, the Council passed 10 pieces of lead-related legislation to amend Local Law 1 of 2004 (Local Law 1), also known as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
The latest bills will further strengthen Local Law 1.
The package includes a bill that will require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to conduct an investigation to identify potential sources of lead for any pregnant person who has tested positive for elevated blood lead levels and to monitor the child after birth for elevated blood lead levels. The bill would also require DOHMH to proactively assess whether the child’s home contains any lead-based paint hazards or unsafe lead paint conditions.
Other proposed laws will require testing for lead in the City’s parks and require schools under the Department of Education jurisdiction to conduct regular inspections for lead-based paint hazards in certain spaces. The results of findings at schools will be publicly available and sent to parents and guardians.
“New Yorkers should not have to worry about lead poisoning in their children, which can create devastating lifelong problems. The City Council takes lead exposure very seriously and is proud to improve the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act to better protect families from the impact of lead,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
The Council is also voting on a bill that will require food establishments and retail stores to take cash instead of excluding customers who don’t have credit cards or access to a bank account. Cashless establishments penalize the unbanked, and unfairly closes off our economy. This bill will ban cashless retail throughout the City and prohibit establishments from charging cash-paying consumers a higher price than cash-less consumers.
The Council will also vote on a bill that is designed to encourage more affordable retail space in communities. If developers take city funds for projects, the bill requires the city to look at that project for potential affordable retail space. To determine that potential, the city will do a retail needs assessment in the neighborhood the project is located.