Tackling lead poison in Western New York

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 26, 2017

There are pockets in the City of Buffalo where lead paint poisoning is a major issue among children.

New York Democrat Assemblyman, Sean Ryan organized this round-table to discuss ways to prevent lead poisoning. Ryan said not only does it has lasting effects on children's brains, but it also affects tax payers.

"Increase cost for school districts, having to provide special education services. It increase cost to the economy as that person becomes an adult who can't fully participate in the workforce," Ryan said.

Although lead paint was banned in 1978, many poorly maintained houses and apartments in Buffalo are affected. Erie County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein said the best way to prevent lead poisoning is to find out where the paint is, so people can avoid it.

"That would be you know putting legislation or systems in place to make sure that never get expose to it," Burstein said.

New York Currently requires children to get tested at the ages of one and two. About 70 percent of children are tested at least once. It's still unclear how many test positive.

Right now a certain level of lead in a person's body is acceptable in the State of New York. But, Ryan said that should be unacceptable.

"New York still has the outdated higher level so you have to be more poisoned in New York State before some health services kick in. One thing we know. Childhood lead poisoning is 100-percent preventable," Ryan said.