School Lead Cleanup Vowed, But Little Testing Advice Offered

The education department acknowledged Wednesday that nearly 1,000 city classrooms in schools built before 1985 that serve students in pre-K and kindergarten have deteriorating lead paint that could potentially harm children, particularly those under 6.

School Lead Cleanup Vowed, But Little Testing Advice Offered

By Alex Zimmerman (thecity.nyc)

In their first communication to parents since revealing last week that nearly 900 city classrooms have peeling lead paint, education officials said they are working to quickly address the problem, but stopped short of giving direct advice about whether students should receive blood lead testing.

“We are sparing no effort to ensure that wherever there may be potential exposure, it is immediately remediated,” officials wrote in an unsigned and undated letter released to Chalkbeat on Monday.

The education department acknowledged Wednesday that nearly 1,000 city classrooms in schools built before 1985 that serve students in pre-K and kindergarten have deteriorating lead paint that could potentially harm children, particularly those under 6. Department officials have said they will address any instances of crumbling lead paint in those classrooms before the school year starts in September.

The letter suggests that families should discuss their “child’s health history with their doctor to determine if blood lead testing is appropriate” and directs parents to call 311 to find free testing or a doctor. It also notes that lead poisoning rates among city children have been falling in recent years.

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