More than 1,100 kids living in NYCHA tested positive for high levels of lead

NEW YORK — More than 1,100 children living in public housing in New York tested positive for high levels of lead in the years since 2012, according to new numbers released by the city.

Some of the children tested positive more than once, health officials said. The numbers were shared by Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett during her last day on the job.

“I am very pleased we will be able to give you these numbers and have full transparency,” Bassett said in a thirty minute presentation.

The city is calling the new report the Childhood Blood Lead Level Surveillance Quarterly Report. The numbers show a decline in lead poisoning of children who live inside public housing.

“We are taking a Vision Zero approach,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Earlier this summer, the NYC Department of Health said there had been around 800 cases of children with high levels of lead in their blood.

“I do regret the swirl of numbers and the confusion and the confusion that that swirl has generated," Bassett said. "Our goal here is to demonstrate our commitment to being transparent about the data."

There have been 77 cases of children testing positive for lead between January and June of this year. These new numbers from the Department of Health give us a total count that includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards and city standards.

State Senator Luis Sepulveda announced Thursday major legislation to increase protections for children against lead poisoning, extending required screening from the present age of six to up to ten years old.

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