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Taking on lead poisoning in New Haven

Lead Poisoning
Carlos Osorio
Associated Press
In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, a registered nurse draws a blood sample from a student at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint, Mich. On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, U.S. health officials changed their definition of lead poisoning in young children — a move expected to more than double the number of kids with worrisome levels of the toxic metal in their blood. The more stringent standard announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means the number of children ages 1 to 5 considered to have high blood lead levels will grow from about 200,000 to about 500,000.

Lead poisoning is preventable. And yet, in cities like New Haven, children continue to test positive for lead in their blood.

More than 70% of all houses in the city were built before 1978, when the federal government prohibited lead-based paint for consumer use. That means many families in New Haven run the risk of exposure to lead.

In the last two years city leaders have worked to identify the problem early, treat it and hopefully one day end it.


Justin Elicker, mayor of New Haven

Maritza Bond, director of the New Haven Health Department

Dr. Erin Nozetz, chairwoman of the New Haven Lead Task Force

Shelley White, attorney with the New Haven Legal Assistance Association

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Fatou Sangare is an associate producer on WSHU's News Talk Show "The Full Story." She has Masters of the Arts in Journalism and Media Production degree from Sacred Heart University.