Little Decline in Number of Children in Public Housing With High Lead Levels, Report Says

For more than a decade, New York City made steady progress in reducing the number of children living in public housing who have tested positive for lead, but that trend ended about the same time that the city’s housing authority stopped inspecting its apartments for lead-paint hazards.

That was one upshot of a report on lead poisoning released on Thursday by the city’s Department of Health. Overall, the report showed the number of city children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had dropped to a record low of about 5,300.

“The numbers I’ve seen, coming out with this report, show that exposure continues to decline,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “We’ve got more work to do, but exposure continues to decline.”

Still, the report said the percentage of young children in public housing who tested positive for lead remained steady over the last few years, even as it continued to decline citywide.

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