On February 5, the Central New York Community Foundation hosted the LeadSafeCNY Community Forum at the Northside Learning Center. The audience of 80 community members, public officials and local residents heard from a panel featuring Dr. Sandy Lane, Dr. Travis Hobart, Dr. Frank Ridzi, and Peter Dunn.
Together the panelists highlighted the ways in which lead poisoning can easily go undetected, undermining all community efforts to educate our children and mentor them into successful careers. Dr. Lane explained that the body absorbs lead similarly to how it absorbs calcium and iron, which can stay in the body for long periods of time. Dr. Hobart clarified that when consumed, lead enters your bloodstream and eventually your bone marrow. This can result in behavioral, emotional, and other neurological effects that can have an impact on children’s educational development and decision making.
As pointed out by Frank Ridzi, New York State rated among the highest in number of childhood elevated blood lead levels in 2016. He explained that the passage of a lead ordinance, currently being proposed by the Syracuse Common Council, could serve as the ‘missing link’ in a network of solutions put forth over the past few years to decrease childhood lead poisoning in Syracuse.
The message was clear that knowledge is power and that as a community we must work together to end childhood lead poisoning by keeping residents informed. Attendees were encouraged to learn more about the proposed lead ordinance and voice their opinions to legislators during the open comment period, set to run through March 5. Learn more about the ordinance here.
View the PowerPoint Presentation from the February 5 Forum here.
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