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Officials Investigating Cases Of Lead Poisoning In Public Housing

July 01, 2018 - 1:03 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New York City admitted Sunday that hundreds of children living in public housing have tested positive for high levels of lead.

The admission comes one day after a Daily News investigation revealed that for years, the Health Department used a higher standard of lead contamination in order to undercount the number of children affected.

In 2017, more than 4,300 children within the boroughs tested positive for high levels of lead in their system. With this information, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an inspection of public housing apartments.

“The health of our children in paramount,” the mayor wrote on Twitter. “That’s why New York City will become one of the first places in the country to conduct home inspections for all children with a blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL and above – to screen for household causes – free of charge.”

While the city is only investigating cases in public housing for now, the de Blasio administration says that all cases involving children 18-years-old or younger will be looked into by the end of the year.

Lead poisoning has dropped by 90 percent since 2005, but the Daily News reports that the city ignored more than 800 between 2012 and 2016.

The Center for Disease Control advises that the Department of Health examine any child under the age of 5, as lead poisoning has been linked to developmental delays.