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SAINT PAUL, MINN. – In light of the continuing public health disaster in Flint, MI caused by childhood lead poisoning, Minnesota DFL elected leaders gathered Wednesday morning with parents and community advocates to call attention to the urgent need for legislative action on childhood lead poisoning in Minnesota communities.
“Childhood lead poisoning is a completely preventable disease, but more than 700 kids in Minnesota every year are losing some of their ability to live a normal life because of lead poisoning,” said State Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis), “and the neurological impacts are irreversible for life, along with the economic impacts on these children, their families, and our state.”
Rep. Clark gathered with other DFL members of the House and Senate call for hearings and action on their bills to address childhood lead poisoning in Minnesota. No bills to address childhood lead poisoning have received hearings so far in the 2017 session.
Minnesota currently requires property sellers to notify home buyers of harmful elements like radon levels in a home, but there is no requirement to report the existence of toxic lead. The bill being pushed by Rep. Clark, the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (HF 491), would give renters and home buyers the right to know if there is lead present in a dwelling, and provides tax credits to assist sellers with lead removal and clean up.
“Parents and families deserve the right to know whether or not there is toxic lead present in their home,” said Rep. Clark. “We can stop this totally preventable disease and its impacts by taking action.”
The bills authored by DFL members to address lead monitoring and prevention address the problem from several angles:
HF 491 (Rep. Karen Clark) Lead Poisoning Prevention Act; radon and lead disclosure requirements amended, property tax benefit for lead hazard reduction provided, lead and healthy homes grants provided
HF 2181 (Rep. Raymond Dehn) School and licensed child care center drinking water lead-testing required.
HF 355 (Rep. Jean Wagenius) Blood lead level that constitutes and elevated blood lead level in the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act lowered.
HF 1356 (Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn) Ammunition containing lead prohibited during the regular firearms season.
HF 1846 (Rep. Paul Thissen) Public school building water lead testing required.
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