PPC’s Takeaways from “Lead Exposure Risks and Responses in Pennsylvania” Report
The report primarily focuses on the needs of kids as they are most at risk from lead’s toxicity. There is no safe level of lead exposure and it can cause permanent damage, most notably affecting the development of a child’s brain and nervous system.
It addresses both lead paint and lead in water but notes clearly exposure to lead-based paint is the primary source of lead poisoning. And Pennsylvania has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country; many of Pennsylvania’s homes, schools and child-care centers were built decades before the lead-paint ban in 1978 and the lead in drinking water ban in 1990.
In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Health declared the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania “at risk” for lead exposure.
In order to address both lead exposure and lead poisoning, the report includes 12 recommendations that would:
- Require universal blood level testing for children
- Mandate inspections/certifications of child-care facilities and facilities with vulnerable populations
- Ensure safe housing is available to families with young children
- Establish a statewide rental housing registry
- Establish lead abatement grant program to assist property owners in conducting lead abatement
- Establish an inter-agency council to coordinate implementation of lead prevention programs and policies among the relevant state agencies
- Require all school drinking water systems to be inspected and certified
- Clarify plumbing system lead ban
- Permit municipal authorities operating public drinking water systems to replace lateral lead service lines
- Require lead service line replacements and restrict partial lead water service line replacements
- Adopt the Uniform Property Maintenance Code
- Provide guidance on private wells
In the months ahead, PPC will be working with stakeholders to help create a lead free/lead safe environment for Pennsylvania children.
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