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City Council Commits to Enacting
Lead Poisoning Prevention Legislation

WHEREAS lead, the metal (Pb), is a neurotoxin that enters the body through contact with lead- containing paint, dust, soil and drinking water; and,

WHEREAS there is no safe blood lead level, especially in children under the age of 6; and,

WHEREAS the effects of lead poisoning are cumulative and irreversible; causing permanent neurological and physiological damage in young children as well as adults; and,

WHEREAS even small amounts of lead in the blood, at levels below the threshold used by the CDC to identify children as poisoned, can lead to impaired memory, decreased academic performance, and impulsivity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and other behavioral disorders; and,

WHEREAS lead exposure also causes health concerns for adults, such as cardiovascular disease, adverse neurological effects, renal damage, thyroid hormone alterations, and decreased fertility; and,

WHEREAS from 2015 through 2019, 849 children in the City of Pittsburgh were newly confirmed with lead poisoning, representing approximately 39% of all new cases in the County; and,

WHEREAS, in Pittsburgh, as in many municipalities, children of color have been and continue to be disproportionately impacted by lead exposure and lead poisoning; and,

WHEREAS more than 80% of homes in the City of Pittsburgh were built prior to 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned for residential use; and,

WHEREAS, lead poisoning is preventable; the key is primary prevention, which includes testing, identifying and remediating lead hazards before children are affected, is necessary to avoid and mitigate lead exposure and poisoning; and,

WHEREAS, there are simple steps that can be taken to protect all family members from lead based-paint hazards in the home; and,

WHEREAS, education and awareness about the dangers of lead can help protect the lives of children living in the City of Pittsburgh; and,

WHEREAS, Get the Lead Out Pittsburgh, working in collaboration with the Lead Safe Allegheny coalition, is a public awareness campaign designed to shine a light on lead poisoning in Allegheny County, help families who are impacted by lead poisoning, and enact changes to make our community safer; and,

WHEREAS public health crises that necessitate that City residents shelter in place, spending more time at home, highlight the need for policies that will help to prevent or reduce lead exposure and lead poisoning in the City; and,

WHEREAS the City of Pittsburgh desires to protect City residents, and especially young children, from inadvertent exposure to lead hazards; and,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby proclaim October 25-31, 2020, as the Pittsburgh National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby declare that citizens and government officials of the City of Pittsburgh shall observe this week to enhance public awareness and commit to drafting and introducing legislation that will prevent the Pittsburgh community from being further poisoned by lead in our built environments and support children to live to their full potential.

Sponsored by Councilwoman Deborah Gross, Councilwoman Erika Strassburger, Councilman Bobby Wilson and Councilman Corey O’Connor

Co-sponsored by Council President Theresa Kail-Smith and Members of Council Ricky V. Burgess, R. Daniel Lavelle, Bruce Kraus and Anthony Coghill

Seal of the City of Pittsburgh