County Backs State Bill on Mandatory Lead Screening

By City News Service

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to back a state bill that would expand childhood screening for lead contamination.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger joined in asking colleagues to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators in support of AB 1316, sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward.

“Throughout the country, but especially in low-income communities, children are frequently exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil and water and far too often go untested — leaving them at a high risk for untreated lead poisoning,” Solis said. “Unfortunately, many children are not being screened early enough, and AB 1316 would help remedy this sad public health emergency.”

Solis cited lead contamination from the former Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon as an example of the threat.

As amended, the Assembly bill would mandate the state health department look at the following risk factors, among others, when considering whether to test for lead poisoning:
— time spent in a home, school or building built before 1978;
— proximity to a former lead or steel smelter or other industrial facility that emitted lead; and
— proximity to a freeway or heavily traveled roadway.
The county offers free blood-lead tests. Residents can call (844) 888-2290 for more information.

 

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August 10, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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