County lead poisoning diagnoses down 85 percent

David Riley, Staff writer

The number of children under 6 newly diagnosed with elevated levels of lead in their blood has dropped 85 percent in Monroe County over the past decade, the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning announced Thursday.

The coalition, along with city and Monroe County officials, celebrated that progress at a Thursday news conference, crediting cooperation among different government agencies, community organizations and citizens.

“These numbers are a shining example of what a community can do by coming together and putting children first,” City Council President Loretta Scott said at the Northeast Neighborhood Service Center on Norton Street.

However, speakers emphasized that the job is not done.

In 2004, 900 out of 13,746 children screened were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood. Last year, 139 out of 14,518 children screened had such levels in their blood, the lowest number in 10 years.

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