SB 247 will help address childhood lead poisoning

To the Editor:

Senate Bill 247 is a bill that deals with childhood lead poisoning in New Hampshire. Lead poisoning from paint and water is a major preventable public health crisis that is not often talked about. Chipping paint and dust on homes built prior to 1978 contain lead which cause poisoning to a child’s brain and central nervous system.

This damage is irreversible and can result in brain development problems which reduce intelligence and cause behavioral changes. The cost to a family of having a child grow up who will never reach their full potential and has lifelong intellectual and behavioral issues is devastating, particularly when they know that lead poisoning is largely preventable. But it is not only the families that suffer; all of us who live in New Hampshire bear the cost of this public health crisis. The cost of addressing the special needs for this child both educationally, medically and socially is expensive. We cannot afford to keep losing generations of Granite State children to a disease which we can do something about. While there is a cost to do this, the cost of not doing it is even greater.

We urge the House of Representatives to pass Senate Bill 247 so that New Hampshire can finally see a day when a building’s lead hazards are identified and removed before a child contracts lead poisoning and we can finally stop using our children’s elevated lead blood levels to determine whether there are lead hazards in their homes and childcare centers.

Katie Robert

Board president, New Hampshire Public Health Association