Lead Paint Right to Know Act

New York State leads the nation in cases of children with elevated blood levels. Twelve percent of the children born in the state in 2019 – 28,820 children – have been diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels. Childhood lead poisoning rates for communities across New York State are five to six times higher than those in Flint, MI at the peak of its water crisis. And studies show that Black children living below the poverty line are twice as likely to suffer from lead poisoning as poor white children.

The reason for such high rates of lead poisoning in New York is that we have so many homes built before the state banned lead paint in 1978. And childhood lead poisoning, which is completely preventable, produces life-long impacts, which include permanent neurological disorders, kidney and hearing damage, and concentration problems as well as lower IQs.

New York State’s Lead Paint Right to Know Act (S.2353/A.4820) would require disclosure of lead-paint test reports in real estate transactions: buying, selling, or renting. This requirement would ensure that testing homes for lead happens, and is shared with whoever is planning to move in (along with the Department of Health). It also closes the loophole that allows property owners to avoid knowing the lead status of their property. Without this legislation, tens of thousands of children across our state will continue to suffer the lifelong consequences of childhood lead poisoning, and – rather than learning if their new home contains lead paint before they move in – parents won’t be able to find that out until after their child gets sick, which is too late.

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