Modified: October 7, 2019 9:08am
Chairwoman April Baskin was the primary sponsor of the $250,000 request for additional educational services for lead poisoned youth
Buffalo, NY – At the October 3, 2019 meeting of the Erie County Legislature’s Health & Human Services committee, the legislators unanimously approved a resolution creating a pilot program for educational intervention services for children who suffer from lead poisoning. The resolution was introduced and supported by Chairwoman April Baskin.
Currently, there is a referral process for any child who tests positive for lead at a level above 10 micrograms per deciliter. Cases are reported to the New York State Department of Health within 24 hours. However, lead poisoning can occur even when much lower levels of lead are detectable in the blood. With collaboration from Lead 716 and faculty from the University at Buffalo’s Law School, Erie County will create an educational services pilot program for up to 100 children who have a lower blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL to 10 micrograms in order for them to receive additional services.
“I originally introduced a resolution to provide more educational services for children with lower blood lead levels in September 2018 that sought to address this lead hazard in our community. Our aging housing stock means that many children are being exposed to lead particles on a daily basis which can have lasting, negative impacts on their entire lives. I have worked diligently and intently to get this issue brought to the forefront. After much work and dialogue with community activists, medical professionals and the Erie County Department of Health, we found an acceptable way to move forward this pilot program” said Chairwoman Baskin.
The Legislature will next work to identify $250,000 in funding in the 2020 Budget for the pilot program to assist up to 100 children. Baskin added: “I am confident we will find a way to work this into Erie County’s 2020 budget as my Legislature colleagues have all acknowledged the necessity of confronting childhood lead poisoning from all possible avenues.”
For additional environmental and medical resources on lead removal and treatment, please visit the Erie County Department of Health website at www.erie.gov/health.