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(1) Forty-five percent (45%) of the Philadelphia children who were screened for lead poisoning in 1993 had levels of concern as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. This amounts to 22,302 children.
(2) The Centers for Disease Control has determined that the presence of lead in the bloodstream at levels as low as ten (10) micrograms per deciliter indicate a level of concern requiring minimally that such children be monitored and tested every three to four months.
(3) The Philadelphia Department of Health has estimated that sixty-five thousand (65,000) Philadelphia children under the age of six (6) years are poisoned by lead and most of those poisoned are undiagnosed and untreated.
(4) Environmental exposure to even low levels of lead increases a child's risk of developing permanent learning disabilities, reduced concentration and attentiveness, and behavior problems which may persist and adversely affect the child's chances for success in school and life. Exposure to higher levels of lead can cause an intellectual disability, seizures and death. 131
(5) The most significant remaining source of environmental lead is lead-based paint in housing built prior to 1978 and house dust and soil contaminated by lead deposits and lead-based paint. The ingestion of household dust containing deteriorating lead or abraded lead-based paint is the most common cause of lead poisoning in children.
(6) Since there is no effective medical treatment for the great majority of lead-poisoned children, and the damage from lead can be irreversible, prevention efforts such as information dissemination and disclosure requirements are vitally necessary and critical tools for the eradication of lead poisoning.
(7) The United States Congress has enacted the "Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992", with the purpose of commencing the elimination of lead-based paint hazards and creating a national approach to the presence of lead-based paint, and proposes that the partnership between the Federal and local governments envisioned by the Congress will be enhanced and the dangers of lead-based paint reduced, by the enactment of regulations within The Philadelphia Code, codifying, implementing, supplementing and enforcing the disclosure requirements of the federal law.
(8) The purpose of this legislation is to provide an educational tool which will assist the Department of Health in identifying, reducing and combating lead poisoning in Philadelphia children.
(9) The task of eliminating lead from those properties that house children will be a costly one and will require a public/private collaboration and partnership in order to preserve and to protect Philadelphia's affordable housing stock.
Amended, Bill No. 130723 (approved January 20, 2014).