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City takes aim at lead hazards as new local law takes effect.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced the implementation of the New York City Board of Health's amendment to Local Law 1 of 2004 of the New York City Health Code, lowering the applicable age defined in Local Law 1 from under seven years to under six years.

The amendment aims to better prioritize resources for lead-based paint hazard reduction in housing by targeting younger children who are at greatest risk. It was passed by the Board of Health in March 2006 and went into effect on October 1, 2006.

The risk of lead poisoning for children under six years of age is much greater than the risk for six-year old children due to frequent behaviors of younger children such as crawling and engaging in hand-to-mouth behavior, which decline with age.

Local Law 1 of 2004 applies to buildings with three or more apartments built before 1960, or built between 1960 and 1978 if the owner knows the building has lead paint. As a result of the amendment, Local Law 1 now requires building owners to reduce lead hazards in units in multiple dwellings in which a child under six years resides. Building owners and managers are obligated by Local Law 1 to:

* Inquire at the initial leasing and renewal of an apartment if a child under six years old resides in the unit.

* Send an annual notice to tenants inquiring as to whether there is a child under six years old in their apartments.

* Inspect the residence for lead paint hazards and safely repair these hazards following the procedures specified in the law.

* Use safe work practices for repairs and maintenance that disturb lead paint.

* Properly train residential building workers who might disturb lead paint and conduct dust clearance testing.

"With this amendment, the City and building owners can better focus their efforts on children most in need of intervention," said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. "By prioritizing resources appropriately to the youngest children at greatest risk of lead poisoning, more children can be protected from lead-based paint hazards when they are most at risk for this type of exposure."

More information and aid materials are posted on the DOHMH website
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Title Annotation:Local Law 1 of 2004 of the New York City Health Code ammended
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Oct 25, 2006
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