Joe Robach, Protecting Rochester’s Children From Lead Paint

Since Senator Joe Robach began representing the City of Rochester in the Assembly, continuing to this tenure in the Senate, one of his top priorities has been the elimination of lead paint poisoning of Rochester’s children. Working with his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate, he sponsored and helped to pass Senate bill 6350, the “Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention and Safe Housing Act.” This bill would assist property owners and residents with remediation of lead hazards from their home, furthering the safety of children in the City of Rochester.

Under the legislation, homeowners and landlords could receive a tax credit to cover fifty percent of the cost to get rid of hazardous lead paint in homes built prior to 1978 (up to $1500 per property, $5000 per taxpayer). In addition, the bill would ensure proper screening of one and two-year-olds and pregnant women, and all children who are considered “at risk” until they reach the age of six. The legislation also calls for a public awareness campaign to educate the public on the dangers of lead paint.

According to Senator Robach “When fully implemented, this bill will help eradicate lead paint exposure in homes to almost zero. While there will be a financial impact related to health care costs, the prevention of human, physical, developmental, and learning disabilities resulting from lead paint poisoning will be avoided and save significant treatment dollars in the future.”

Implementing this piece of legislation is important because when children are exposed to excessive amounts of lead, the risk of brain damage and other developmental disabilities increases. The use of lead paint was banned in 1978; however, exposure in homes built prior to that year continues, particularly in Upstate New York. New York State has the highest number of houses that still contain lead paint in the entire nation. By helping to lead the charge to eliminate lead paint from Rochester’s communities, Senator Joe Robach is helping to protect Rochester’s children.