Results of Year One Implementation

Background

Despite substantial progress, childhood lead poisoning remains a major problem, both in New York State and across the nation. There is increasing consensus that lead poisoning control programs cannot rely on taking action to minimize children's further exposure to lead after a blood-lead test identifies him/her as having an elevated level of lead in their system. Housing-based primary prevention involves taking action to prevent children's exposure to lead before any harm is done by eliminating lead hazards and promoting improvements in the state's housing stock, including improved cleaning techniques to interim hazard control measures and full hazard abatement. Primary prevention complements other public health secondary prevention activities, including blood-lead screening and testing to identify elevated blood-lead levels (EBLL) and coordination of follow-up services for children with lead poisoning.

In 2007, the Governor and the State Legislature approved funding to undertake a new targeted primary prevention initiative funded with $3,000,000 in State dollars. The legislation amended the language of Public Health Law Section 1370(a) to include a new subdivision 3, creating a "Primary Prevention Pilot Project." It required the State to identify and designate zip codes in certain counties with significant concentrations of children identified with elevated blood-lead levels. New York State Department of Health identified areas of the state with significantly elevated incidence of childhood lead poisoning. The local Departments of Health in these areas were charged to develop and implement, in cooperation with local municipal officials, a housing-based primary prevention plan for each such zip code identified to prevent lead exposure. Local Health Departments (LHD) in eight counties (Albany, Erie, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Westchester and New York City) received funding in the first year of the Pilot. Collectively, these eight counties accounted for 79 percent of all known 2005 elevated blood lead level (EBLL) cases.

NYSDOH entered into a consultant contract with the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), a nationally recognized non-profit organization based in Columbia, MD., to help implement the Pilot project, provide training and hands-on consultation to LHDs and their partners, in coordination with NYSDOH, and develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation of the Pilot project for NYSDOH.

NYS released an executive summary, prepared by NCHH, of the document Early Lessons Learned: New York State's Primary Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning Pilot Project in December 2008. The complete 'Early Lessons' report describes, in detail, how the pilot jurisdictions, with support from the New York State Department of Health, are undertaking primary prevention efforts in this 'pilot' that will eventually enable 'other' jurisdictions to effectively prevent children from being harmed. This report describes activities completed by the grantees during the first year of the pilot program (October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008), and provides recommendations for future activities.

NYS released a third report New York State's Primary Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning Pilot Program: Year One Implementation Final Report, also prepared by NCHH, in February 2009. This report expands on the findings of the previous reports, and provides a comprehensive statistical overview of the Pilot's implementation throughout the first year. The report addresses the most significant goals of the program, including the identification of housing at greatest risk for lead paint hazards, developing partnerships and community engagement, promoting housing-based interventions, building lead-safe work practice workforce capacity, and securing funding to support lead hazard control activities. Recommendations for future activities are also provided.