Latest in battle against lead in homes

City has repaired water lines with lead; New education campaign unveiled

Mike Baggerman
October 22, 2019 - 1:31 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Buffalo's mayor and the Erie County executive touted progress made in the battle against lead in homes.

Mayor Byron Brown said that thousands of parcels of land have been inspected in recent years and the city has replaced more than 100 water lines that contained lead in it. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the county has invested millions of dollars over the past few years.

"Lead poisoning can damage children's developing brains, causing lifelong irreversible harm to learning, behavior, and health," Clotilde Perez-Bode Decker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, said. "We believe that every child should arrive at the classroom door without the burden of lead exposure."

A report issued a year ago found that single and double rental housing units built before 1978 saw 80 percent of children with elevated blood levels. The people primarily impacted are those who are people of color and those who live in low-income areas.

Lead has been a problem in low-income areas in the City of Buffalo for several years. Investigative Post reported in 2014 that young children in Erie County were testing positive for lead poisoning at more than triple the state average. A bill was introduced in Albany to combat the lead exposure and poisoning across the state.

In March, a West Side landlord was arrested after neglecting to address lead problems at his property on Fargo Avenue. He plead guilty in June and served 90 days in jail concurrent to his current federal prison sentence on an unrelated charge.

The task force combating lead unveiled an education campaign called "Get Ahead of Lead". More details about that can be found here

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