Leaders hold rountable discussion on lead exposure

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Many of the people on this panel at kings college have dealt with lead poisoning in some capacity.

"the most frustrating part is feeling like i cannot protect my son from something like this," said Shanaa Hall. She told officials on the state Senate Lead Task Force that a routine check up showed her son had been exposed to lead. The culprit? Paint chips in the family home. Her son is still getting treatment every three months. According to experts, far too many children at risk of lead poisoning are not getting tested.

"If they don't live in an older house or various other things, they wont be put in a high risk category and therefore wont get tested," said Luzerne County Head Start Health Specialist Allyson Leskowsky.

But experts say exposure can happen anywhere- like at school or through certain toys.
Lead exposure at such an early age can cause development delays. While the preschool program head start screens all of its children, a major roadblock is that only pennsylvania children covered by medical assistance are required to get tested.
    
State Senators John Yudichak and Lisa Baker are introducing legislation that would require universal screening of children.

"Most of our neighboring states do it, Delaware, New York, New Jersey. So, we can find the resources," said Yudichak.

Other bills on the table include mandatory lead testing in daycare centers and schools. With funding always an issue, Philadelphia Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes proposed creating a Superfund for lead abatement.

"I'm certainly open to looking at where do we get resources, how do we tackle this problem, what is the best approach," said Senator Baker.

 


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