Lead hearing calls for more vigilance in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia says it’s making strides on protecting children from lead poisoning, but is also trying to get a more complete picture of the problem.   

First the good news.  The percentage of Philadelphia children testing positive for elevated lead levels has gone from 12 percent to 1.2 percent since 2004. However Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Caroline Johnson says, rental units often still pose a danger.

“When the health department investigates the environment of a child with a high blood level the source is nearly always in their private residence in the form of chipping and peeling paint,” she said.

Kim Shavers says, the home where she and her kids live has lead problems other than paint.

“One day we went to Home Depot and they were giving out things to check water,” she said.  “They sent me a letter immediately they told me don’t drink that water again and don’t give it to your children.”

City Council is planning additional hearings on lead in the city’s water.

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