Task force recommends efforts to prevent lead poisoning

A state task force on the prevention of childhood lead poisoning has released a preliminary report with recommendations that will go into effect this year.

Dust and chips from lead-based paint that were used in homes before 1978 have been proven to be dangerous if swallowed or inhaled by small children and pregnant women, according to a press release from Gov. David Paterson’s office. Lead may affect a child’s developing nervous system, which can cause learning disabilities. While the use of lead-based paint was banned in 1978, more than 85 percent of housing around the state was built before then.

The task force has recommended that the state connect lead-poisoning prevention efforts with weatherization programs, increase awareness of the issue among human-service agencies and enhance procedures to ensure family-based child-care homes are lead free.

The task force is expected to release its final report this fall.

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