Reps Taylor & Johnson Circulate Lead Testing Bill
LRB 4694 brings Wisconsin in line with CDC recommendations.
MADISON – After learning about the water crisis in Flint, Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Rep. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) circulated a bill requiring water and paint testing in the homes of children with elevated blood lead levels. Many Wisconsin communities have a higher percentage of children with lead poisoning than Flint.
LRB 4694 brings Wisconsin in line with CDC recommendations by making water and paint testing mandatory when a child’s blood lead level is 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher. Wisconsin currently requires environmental investigations at a level of 15 micrograms per deciliter or higher.
“This common-sense bill makes sure our children are safe,” stated Rep. Taylor. “As evidenced by the bills on the calendar for the upcoming Assembly session, mandatory water and paint testing is especially important in the face of legislative Republicans eroding environmental local control in Wisconsin, making it easier for private interests to take our water, use it and pollute it. The consequences of lead poisoning are too severe to go unchecked.”
The permanent effects of lead poisoning include reduced intelligence, learning disabilities, and developmental delays. Children under age 6 are especially susceptible, and can experience a lifetime of serious and irreversible health and cognitive consequences.
“I ran a child care for some of Milwaukee’s poorest families for 10 years, and have seen firsthand the heartbreaking damage that lead wreaks upon a young child,” said Rep. Johnson. “Wisconsin needs to take Flint’s crisis as a wake-up call, and as policymakers we must step up to address toxic lead in our environment before our state, like Michigan, becomes synonymous with a government that stands idle while its most precious resources – its children – are poisoned and have their lives forever diminished.”
Legislators have an opportunity to sign onto this vital bill until February 10th.