Lead Poisoning

Community-wide approach

Founded in 2000, the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning draws on the expertise and influence of children’s advocates, educators, health care providers, government agencies, researchers and others. Together the coalition uses a variety of approaches including:

LEGISLATION -- Helped pass Rochester's precedent setting Lead Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Ordinance Opens in a new window

MEDIA -- Orchestrated a public health campaign to raise community awareness of the dangers of lead

REGULATION -- Pushed for Rochester's Lead Safe Schools Policy Opens in a new window

EDUCATION -- Created materials on lead poisoning in eight languages Opens in a new window


Monroe County's public health data show that the number of children under six with reported blood lead levels above 10μg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) has decreased 85 percent, from 900 in 2004 to 139 in 2014. But challenges remain. Health professional now agree that lower lead levels of 5 to 9μg/dL also can be damaging. In 2014, 470 children tested postive for levels in this lower range, bringing the total number of lead poisoned children in Monroe County to 609.

Environmental justice

Lead poisoning is nearly always linked to deteriorated lead-based paint in the home. In Rochester, more than 86 percent of the housing stock was constructed prior to the ban on lead paint in 1978. Although lead poisoning occurs in all corners of Monroe County, the majority of lead-poisoned children live in the city's poorest neighborhoods, and are disproportionately African American and Latino.

To learn more about the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning please contact info@theleadcoalition.org 
or visit the coalition’s web site at

Initiatives - Lead Poisoning - Articles Featured

Initiatives - Lead Poisoning - Articles

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/elmira%20downtown%20HIA-1.jpg

    Elmira study connects housing to poor health

    July 29, 2019

    Some older housing in Elmira presents a high risk of exposure to lead, mold and other environmental toxins linked to asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). That’s according to a new study of health and housing in the city's poorer neighborhoods.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Wade%20Norwood-1.jpg

    Community celebrates 10th anniversary of Rochester lead law

    September 20, 2016

    Representatives from the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, the City of Rochester, the Monroe County Department of Public Health, community groups, staff members of the Environmental Protection Agency, and elected officials gathered Sept. 19 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Rochester lead law.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Lead%20coalition%20logo-1.JPG

    Lead poisoned continues decade-long decrease

    June 18, 2015

    Monroe County and the City of Rochester are making significant progress in the campaign to end childhood lead poisoning. The number of preschoolers diagnosed with lead poisoning fell from 900 to 139 from 2004 and 2014, a drop of 85 percent.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Peeling%20porch%20paint-1.jpg

    Lead paint may still lurk on the porch

    January 09, 2015

    Housing regulations have been key to lowering rates of lead poisoning, but new research finds that porches may remain a danger to children’s health.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Let's%20make%20lead%20history%20vertical-1.JPG

    Lead coalition honored by EPA

    July 21, 2010

    The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning has been selected as a winner of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Achievement Award for its leadership in community-based efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning.