NYCHA lead problem about three times as bad as was previously thought, federal monitor says

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NEW YORK — Many more children living in New York City Housing Authority developments may have been exposed to lead than was previously reported, NYCHA’s federal monitor said Thursday.

Two years ago, NYCHA had said about 3,000 apartments with children under the age of 6 likely contained lead paint. After research, NYCHA found 6,000 more apartments where children may have been exposed to lead, Federal Monitor Bart Schwartz said. It’s not clear how many children live in these apartments.

“Now, of course, the job is to ensure that the children are protected from lead risks,” Schwartz said. “NYCHA already has undertaken numerous steps in that direction. With this new information, the importance of quickly and thoroughly implementing all necessary actions must be emphasized.”

The City’s Department of Investigation determined in 2017 that there were problems in how NYCHA handled lead in apartments.

In 2018, PIX11 spoke to a woman whose 4-year-old son had a blood lead level of 12. There is no safe blood lead level and anything above level 5 is considered blood poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PIX11 has reached out to NYCHA for a statement.

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