Lead Paint Presser

WCBS 880

Nassau Health Officials Warn Parents After Child Gets Lead Poisoning

January 08, 2019 - 2:11 pm

BALDWIN, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – Parents are being warned after a pre-K child in Nassau County was found to have elevated levels of lead in his or her blood.

The Nassau County Health Department immediately launched an investigation after the preschool-aged child was found to have lead poisoning.

In the end, it was determined that the child’s school, the Uniondale School District’s Schubert School, had lead paint chips at the front entrance that the child may have ingested.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein says the department can’t say for sure that the paint chips are the source of the child’s lead levels, but he says they’ve found a hazard and parents should be warned their children may have been exposed.

Eisenstein says he wants parents to discuss blood tests with their healthcare providers, warning the neurological damage from lead is lifelong and that lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities later in life.

“Working against us is the fact that leaded paint is sweet by taste, so they can see it as candy,” Eisenstein said at a news conference Tuesday.

There were 50 cases of lead poisoning last year in Nassau County, according to Eisenstein.

He says lead paint was banned back in 1978 but there’s still a danger if the old paint is exposed.

“When a building that was built before 1978 has new paint put on top of it, we know that the newest layers of paint are lead-free. As long as they’re covered up, there’s no risk,” Eisenstein said.

The health department is sending letters to parents whose children attend the school.

The entrance with peeling paint has since been closed off.