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Local laws key to reducing dangers of lead poisoning
Date:5/6/2013

zones within the city, subjecting homes in these areas to a higher level of scrutiny. These efforts have resulted in a 68 percent decline in the number of children with elevated blood lead levels since the new law went into effect in 2006.

"The Rochester model accepts as its premise the critical need to gain entry to the highest risk housing," said Korfmacher. "This was the rationale for targeting rental housing over owner occupied and for establishing a higher standard for inspection within geographically designated high risk areas."

Additionally, local laws are often more easy to modify to adapt to changing circumstances over time, compared to federal and state laws. The goal of the study, say the authors, is to provide other communities with a blueprint upon which to model their efforts to reduce lead poisoning.

"Local lead laws must operate in a complex legal environment of case, state, and federal laws," said Hanley. "These challenges along with the technical knowledge necessary to inspect, address, and monitor lead hazards are often daunting for municipalities. It is our hope that the information in this report will enable communities to tailor lead abatement policies to their legal, housing, and economic circumstances."

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Public Health Law Research program and was published in a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. The research was conducted by the URMC in partnership with the Empire Justice Center and the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), a nonprofit corporation dedicated to creating healthy and safe homes for children.

"NCHH has been following Rochester's work on lead poisoning prevention for years," said Rebecca Morley, the executive direction of NCHH. "We regularly reference it as a model and a success story for other jurisdictions to adopt. The reductions in blood lead levels and safer housing resulti
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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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