NYC Launches Lead Poisoning Prevention Initiative

NEW YORK (AP) -

The head of New York City’s Department of Sanitation is leading a new initiative aimed at cutting down lead exposure throughout the city.

The Wall Street Journal reports Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that Kathryn Garcia will start next week as the senior adviser for citywide lead exposure prevention.

More than 1,000 children were identified with high lead levels earlier this year.

Garcia will keep her job with the sanitation department while developing a citywide plan to prevent and respond to lead poisoning.

She’ll also work on educating families on lead exposure and increasing child testing.

Lead poisoning can cause developmental difficulties, physical pain and neurological damage. Children are especially vulnerable.

The commissioner says she hopes success will eventually put the initiative “out of business.”