NYC Council Adopts Ground-Breaking Bills on Lead Poisoning Prevention

March 14, 2019 | New York

Yesterday, the NYC Council adopted 10 bills aimed at improving NYC’s lead poisoning prevention program. Many of the bills move forward the NYC Mayor’s roadmap to eliminating childhood lead exposure. One of the bills, Int. No. 865-A, contains several provisions that will place NYC on the cutting edge of lead poisoning prevention efforts. The bill is sponsored by NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and co-sponsored by 45 other City Council members. Specific provisions in the bill will:

Phase-in some of the most stringent lead dust standards in the U.S.
Adopt the Mayor’s recommendation to set the most stringent lead paint standard in the U.S., as detected by x-ray technology
Lower the blood lead level that triggers agency action when a child is exposed to lead hazards
The provisions that strengthen the lead dust and paint standards are particularly ground-breaking. Lead dust is the leading cause of childhood lead poisoning. It is typically created by deteriorating lead paint or friction from lead-painted doors and windows rubbing against lead-painted frames. Improving the lead dust and paint standards means landlords will have to remove more of these hazards from homes and take more actions to prevent harm to children.

This past fall and winter, Children’s Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) advocated for improvements to the City’s lead poisoning prevention program and the NYC Council legislation, particularly around lowering the lead dust standards. While we are excited to be a part of these developments in NYC, we join other advocates in calling for better enforcement of NYC’s primary prevention law, known as Local Law 1. We look forward to continued conversations with the Mayor’s Office and NYC Council around these efforts.

As we continue this work, we invite you to thank Speaker Johnson for taking this momentous step toward improving lead poisoning prevention in NYC. You can also learn more about our policy proposals and the Mayor’s roadmap here