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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2017 09:22 AM
From: Representative Michael H. O'Brien
To: All House members
Subject: Subject: Co-Sponsorship-Subject: Childhood Lead Testing Act
Lead poisoning, a preventable environmental health problem, affects many people across the Commonwealth.

Exposure to lead can cause intellectual, behavioral and academic deficits. Children who are exposed to lead in their homes or environment, increase their risks for: damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems (e.g., reduced IQ, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, juvenile delinquency, and criminal behavior), and hearing and speech problems.

In its 2015 Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Report, the Pennsylvania Department of Health stated that approximately 28 percent of children within the Commonwealth under the age of 2 were tested for lead. Over four thousand children (five percent of those tested) had at least one elevated blood lead test result.

Lead exposure often does not manifest itself in physical symptoms, but may result in long-term neurological damages, especially if the exposure occurs during the critical stages of brain development in early childhood.

The only way to accurately determine an individual’s lead status is with a simple blood test. Therefore, I intend to introduce legislation to require that all Pennsylvania children are tested for lead at ages one and two.

Please consider co-sponsoring this critical legislation.

Introduced as HB1994