HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the Connecticut House of Representatives for approving legislation he proposed (House Bill 5045) that will help alleviate the risks associated with lead poisoning among children and align Connecticut’s standards with federal guidance.
The House approved the legislation on Tuesday by a unanimous vote of 146-0. It will next be transmitted to the State Senate for that chamber’s consideration.
“Childhood lead poisoning has catastrophic impacts on health and development, including irreversible learning and developmental abilities,” Governor Lamont said. “In particular, this problem has most deeply impacted minority families and those who live in disadvantaged communities. For too long, the standards for lead testing and treatment in Connecticut have fell well behind the best practices, and I am optimistic that we are finally on the verge of making these long-overdue updates. I thank State Representative Jonathan Steinberg for his leadership as co-chair of the Public Health committee in getting this legislation approved today in the House, as well as State Representative Bill Petit, and I urge the Senate to take action on this bill so that I can sign it into law and we can make these improvements to our lead testing and treatment standards.”
The legislation includes steps that will strengthen early intervention in instances of lead poisoning by gradually reducing the blood lead level that triggers parental notifications and home inspections to more closely align with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics. Additionally, it will empower the Connecticut Department of Public Health to require more frequent testing of children living in cities and towns where exposure to lead is most common. Those changes will ensure the families of children with unsafe blood lead levels receive appropriate educational materials, the homes of those children are inspected and remediated when appropriate, and the children themselves receive any required care.
Governor Lamont looks forward to partnering with the legislature on a historic investment in lead case management and remediation, thanks to funding that Connecticut received from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was approved by Congress last year to assist in the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will not only help cover any municipal costs associated with the revised standards, but also help property owners and landlords in vulnerable communities undertake lead abatement and remediation projects before a child is harmed. Those projects will use local contractors.