YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A new effort was under way Monday night to combat the lead problem plaguing suburban areas north of New York City.

As WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported, officials emphasized that exposure to lead can have lifelong consequences.

“It can cause decreased cognitive function,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

And that is merely in low doses, Schumer said. Higher does can be fatal.

And with so many homes in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley built before 1978, lead poisoning is a major problem, Schumer said. A recent study found that nearly 4 percent of children in the region have lead poisoning.

Thus, Schumer is calling for a $4,000 tax credit for homeowners to cover the cost of removing lead paint.

“Three thousand dollars to get rid of the lead paint and plumbing, and $1,000 for specialized cleaning and monitoring,” he said.

Schumer also wants to more than double funding for the Healthy Home grant program, from $110 million to $230 million.

Lead poisoning has drawn renewed attention in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.