ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning celebrates and applauds the Rochester City Council for passing a historic and precedent setting lead based paint poisoning prevention ordinance 10 years ago. After an often contentious meeting, on December 20, 2005, City Council voted 9-0 to enact legislation that targeted rental housing in high-risk neighborhoods where 90% of children reported lead poisoned resided. The law went into effect as of July 1, 2006.
In the decade since the law was passed, the City of Rochester Office of Inspection and Compliance Services has conducted over 129,000 inspections with an overall percent of units passing visual inspection for interior deteriorated paint remaining stable at 94%. More importantly, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has seen an 85% reduction in the number of children, under the age of six, reported poisoned by lead.
The lead law has resulted in making thousands of units with lead hazards safe for children. It’s no surprise that Rochester is used as model example throughout the United State of how community groups, landlords, and local government can work collaboratively to solve an important community health issue.
“We are grateful to our community partners and champions who put children first and campaigned tirelessly to get this law implemented. We applaud and thank the Rochester City Council from the bottom of our hearts for listening to the community and doing the right thing. Our successes over the past 10 years have only served to support how crucial this ordinance is to keeping children safe,” said Mel Callan, a family nurse practitioner at Highland Family Medicine and founding member of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning. Callan continued “Enormous progress has been made since the implementation of the Rochester Lead Law, however we still have a lot of work to do to finish the job. Lead is a neurotoxin and children are particularly susceptible to the irreversible and devastating effects of lead poisoning. We must raise the awareness of families to request a free home inspection for lead hazards and get their children tested at ages one and again at two to avoid any potential brain damage.”
Information on getting your home and children tested for lead hazards, how to get EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certified in accordance with federal law, and to request FREE educational materials in multiple languages can be found at the Coalition web site www.letsmakeleadhistory.org or by calling (585) 224-3125.