While many of us believe childhood lead poisoning is a thing of the past, the sad truth is that it’s not. In fact, every year, more than 1,000 New Hampshire children are poisoned by lead, with deteriorating lead-based paints the primary cause. The impacts of lead poisoning can be devastating and lifelong. Children can suffer a loss of IQ, behavioral difficulties, and organ and nerve damage. While the problem is statewide and affects all communities and people of all walks of life, many of the children impacted come from families that are already struggling, including low-income families living in substandard housing.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A bipartisan bill, SB 135, is making its way through the New Hampshire legislature that would protect children in our state.
The bill has already passed the New Hampshire House and Senate with strong support, with potential negotiations regarding amendments taking place between the two legislative bodies before being sent to Governor Hassan for her consideration. If the bill passes the legislature and Governor Hassan signs it into law, children across New Hampshire will benefit.
SB 135 is common-sense legislation. With better education, enhanced screening to make sure New Hampshire kids don’t fall through the cracks, and improved maintenance standards for rental properties, we can prevent lead poisoning and all its tragic costs. The lead poisoning prevention bill would put us on a clear path to achieving these important goals and keeping New Hampshire children safe.
More in-depth information on addressing lead poisoning in New Hampshire can be found in the following blog posts:
- Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Persistent Problem, Solutions Needed (February 10, 2015)
- Screening Kids for Lead Poisoning – Why New Hampshire Needs to do Better (Spoiler alert: only 39% of high-risk NH children are being tested) (February 12, 2015)
- Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Preventable Disease (February 18, 2015)
- A Firsthand Account of the Ravages of Lead Poisoning (February 18, 2015)