Letter to Laboratory Directors Regarding Changes in New York State's Public Health Law Pertaining to Blood Lead Testing, Reporting and Follow-Up

July 2009

Dear Laboratory Director:

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of changes in New York State's Public Health Law and regulations pertaining to blood lead testing, reporting and follow-up that may affect your laboratory practices.

State law and regulations have been updated to reflect current lead testing technology and practice standards; to ensure laboratory reporting requirements are consistent with recent changes in public health law; to clarify and expand requirements for follow-up of children with lead poisoning; and to support the integration of statewide data systems to improve childhood lead testing. These changes are part of the state's ongoing work to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in New York State.

A detailed summary of the statutory and regulatory changes that relate to reporting of blood lead tests is enclosed for your reference. Complete copies of the amended law and regulations are available on the NYSDOH Web site at www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/lead/.

Thank you for your assistance in implementing these changes, and for your ongoing role in the identification and management of childhood lead poisoning in New York State. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the New York State Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 518-402-5706, the Physician Office Laboratory Evaluation Program at (518) 485-5352, or the Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program at 518-485-5378.

Sincerely,

Guthrie S. Birkhead, M.D., M.P.H.
Deputy Commissioner
Office of Public Health