According to new numbers released from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 1,160 children living in public housing have tested with high levels of lead since 2012, which the city says translates to 1,375 cases.
“I am very pleased we will be able to give you these numbers and have full transparency,” NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said.
The city is calling the new report the 'Childhood Blood Lead Level Surveillance Quarterly Report.' The city says the numbers show a decline in lead poisoning of children who live inside public housing.
The numbers contradict a report released earlier this summer when the NYC Department of Health said there’s 820 cases of lead poisoned children, which the city said translates to 758 kids, who have tested positive for lead exposure since 2012. But on Thursday, the city mentioned an additional 555 cases.
“I do regret the swirl of numbers the confusion that swirl had generated, the different time periods, the different levels. What I have done today, arguably added more to that, but our goal here is our commitment to being transparent about the data,” said Bassett.
Between January and June of this year, 77 children have tested positive for lead.
Officials said the new numbers released on Thursday give us a total count that includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards and city standards.
New York State Sen. Luis Sepulveda announced Friday major legislation to increase protections for children against lead poisoning, extending required screening from the present age of 6 up to ten year old.
Council member Rafael Salamanca said a broken sidewalk outside the Stebbins Hewitt houses in the Bronx has been plaguing residents for years.
“There is also a concern there are other tenants who are elderly on their walkers and they have fallen,” Salamanca said.
Willie Perez says he has to cross the street or go all the way around just to get to his home in his wheelchair everyday.
“This is a broken sidewalk right in front of a NYCHA office. The manager, the director, they see this everyday... walk over this and ignore it,” Perez said.
A spokesperson for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) says they are working with the Department of Transportation to resolve this issue. As of Friday, the sidewalk was fixed.
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