Farley: City Has Made 'Amazing Progress'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Health department officials say the number of children with lead poisoning is at a record low in New York City.

The agency says that children under the age of six identified with lead poisoning declined 66 percent from 2005 to 2012. The decline was 22 percent between 2011 and 2012. There were 1,183 cases in 2011 compared to 923 in 2012.

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The health department attributed the decline to the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, a city law passed in 2005.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the numbers show the agency’s efforts are working, adding “we have made amazing progress.”

But he said it’s critical that building owners follow the law and safely remove peeling lead paint in homes with young children.

Lead poisoning can cause learning and behavior problems, even at low levels, according to health officials. The New York City Health Code defines lead poisoning as a blood lead level containing 10 or more micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.

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New York State law requires health care providers to test all children at 1 and 2 years of age and test older children found to be at risk.

For more information, visit nyc.gov/lead.

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