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Growing concern over lead poisoning prevention budget cuts

Growing concern over lead poisoning prevention budget cuts

Allison Norlian

Rochester, NY (WROC) – In the last 15 years, great strides have been made preventing lead poisoning deaths in Rochester. Local experts credit outreach and education about repairing homes with lead paint.

Now there’s concern funding cuts could put kids at risk.

Congress is considering a bill that would cut $35 million from the office of lead hazard control. Experts say that would have a huge impact locally, potentially reversing the headway they’ve made combatting lead poisoning in Rochester.

Experts say most are poisoned by deteriorating paint used on homes built prior to 1978. The proposed cut in the budget would force a cut to important programs in Rochester, and some predict, that could lead to another spike in local poisoning cases.

“I ultimately think its going to hamper the ability for local communities to address the issues through funding efforts to reduce hazards in properties,” explains Joel Kunkler of the Housing Council. “Its also going to reduce our efforts significantly to be able to educate folks and that is probably one of the most important vehicles we have.”

The budget cuts are included in the HUD Bill, and despite protest, the bill is expected to pass the U.S. House this week.
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