Childhood lead exposure is a serious, but preventable public health problem. The New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is a national leader in developing public health interventions with a focus on primary prevention, data-driven programs and evaluation. In 2019, 3,076 New York City (NYC) children < 6 years had blood lead levels (BLL) at or above the CDC reference level of 5 ¿g/dL. Of these, about 600 children had BLL e10 ¿g/dL. While the number of children with BLL e5 ¿g/dL has declined more than 90% since 2005, as a result of strong policies and collaborations between health and housing agencies, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years. There is no safe blood lead level and more work is needed to reduce childhood lead exposures.
The purpose of the proposed project is to decrease disparities in blood lead levels by social, demographic and geographic factors, and ultimately eliminate childhood lead poisoning in NYC. Building on a strong history of
using data to inform program and policy action to reduce lead exposure and working with other agency and community partners, the NYC Healthy Homes Program (HHP) will ensure blood lead testing and reporting, enhance blood lead surveillance, improve linkages to recommended services through Component A; and will develop targeted population-based primary prevention interventions through Component B.
This proposal strives to achieve the following outcomes by the end of the project period: 1) Improved blood lead testing and reporting rates for children less than 6 years of age at risk for lead exposure; 2) Improved use of surveillance system data to capture missing data on child demographic and follow-up information; 3) Improved rates of lead-exposed children less than 6 years of age linked to recommended services; and 4) Decreased disparities in blood lead levels by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Specific strategies and activities proposed to achieve these outcomes include:
" Ensuring blood lead testing and reporting, with a focus on children at greater risk for lead exposure
o Sustaining a citywide Lead Advisory Committee
o Data matching to identify Medicaid-enrolled children who require a blood lead test, and children who are
overdue for a blood lead test at age 1 and 2
o Targeted outreach to increase blood lead testing and electronic reporting
" Enhancing blood lead surveillance through data collection, analysis and dissemination
o Using surveillance data to identify high-risk geographic areas and populations
o Disseminating data to CDC and the public
" Improving linkages of lead-exposed children to recommended services
o Using LeadQuest to track the timeliness of service delivery and follow-up
" Developing targeted population-based interventions through strategic partnerships
o Collaborating with CBOs serving high-risk populations to develop and implement culturally appropriate
o Developing tools for education and outreach and systematic tracking of non-paint sources
o Expanding lead workforce capacity in targeted high-risk geographic areas and populations