Governor David A. Paterson today accepted the Final Report of the Task Force on the Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning. The Final Report summarizes the actions taken by the Task Force to implement the enhancements in the Preliminary Report issued last year, as well as the Task Force's recommendations for the future to achieve Governor Paterson's goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning in New York State. Release of this report coincides with National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which is October 24-30, 2010.
"The elimination of lead poisoning, a leading environmental poison of children in New York State, has been one of my highest priorities," Governor Paterson said. "I thank the members of the Task Force for working quickly and diligently to identify and implement actions that could be taken immediately to further the State's efforts to ensure that every child in New York State has the opportunity to grow up healthy. I commend them for demonstrating such strong collaboration in order to come up with sensible recommendations that continue towards eradicating this preventable hazard."
The Task Force on the Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning was created by Executive Order No. 21, issued by Governor Paterson in 2009. Task Force members represent 14 State agencies and authorities having responsibilities in the areas of health, housing, child welfare, community development, weatherization and energy conservation. The Task Force was chaired by Wendy Saunders, Deputy Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight. Governor Paterson charged the Task Force with finding ways to enhance current efforts to prevent and eliminate childhood lead poisoning through increased coordination of activities and utilization of existing resources, including actions that could be taken immediately as well as longer-term strategies.
In its Preliminary Report, released in November 2009, the Task Force recommended nine actions that strengthen current State lead poisoning prevention efforts. The final report reflects the significant actions that have been taken to carry out these nine enhancements over the past year. It also recommends ten additional long-range actions to further reduce and ultimately eliminate childhood lead poisoning in New York State, including:
"While the incidence of childhood lead poisoning is decreasing in New York State, it is time that we eliminate this threat to our children's health once and for all. During these difficult economic times, we must find ways for State government to act smarter, more efficiently, and maximize existing resources, and that is precisely what this Task Force has done," Governor Paterson continued.
Additional details about these recommendations, including specific agencies to be involved in their implementation, are outlined in the full report. More information on lead poisoning prevention is available at the Department of Health's website: www.nyhealth.gov/lead.
The Final Report of the Task Force on the Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning is available at: http://www.ny.gov/governor/reports/pdf/NewYorkStateTaskForce_ChildhoodLeadPoisoningReport.pdf.