In government related news, officials at Lancaster County are working to get state-level laws passed that protect children from the hazards of lead paint in their homes. On December 5th, local officials met at the county’s City Council Committee Meeting and passed a resolution to work to pass laws at the state level. The laws they hope to enact would implement a statewide testing and abatement program across Pennsylvania.

Local officials decided to take this important course of action after reading a concerning report from the Journal of Pediatrics this summer. According to their research, children in Lancaster County have among the highest rates of lead poisoning in the United States. The number of children with elevated levels of lead poisoning in their system, defined as 5 micrograms per deciliter, is at 11% in this county. Research shows that children lose one IQ point for every microgram of blood in their system.

Lancaster County would like to help their local children by bringing in programs similar to ones enacted in Maryland, which requires owners with rentals built below 1978 to register and follow certain building standards, and tests infants for lead exposure. Unfortunately, Lancaster County lacks the funds to carry out these programs on their own, and residents of this poorer county can’t afford to take on the costs themselves.

The proposed Pennsylvania legislation would require owners of buildings built before 1978 to test for lead and correct any problems any time the building gets sold or gets a new tenant.

Legislation is an important way to ensure children and adults stay safe from lead poisoning in their communities. Take the time to learn what the lead paint laws are in your state or city, and don’t hesitate to contact your local representatives to start creating change.

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