Durbin, Garcia propose update to national lead prevention measures

Two of Illinois’ federal lawmakers want to update national regulations related to lead poisoning. [Health News Illinois]

The plan, proposed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Chicago, would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to use risk assessments for low-income housing built before 1978 before a family moves into the home.

The proposal would also create a process for families to relocate on an emergency basis, without penalty or the loss of assistance, if a lead hazard is identified and the landlord fails to address it within 30 days of notification.

Landlords would have to disclose the presence of lead if found in the home.

Current law requires only a quick visual check for lead hazards in federally assisted housing until a child is already sick, which Garcia said is “too little, too late.”

“Our bill will ensure proactive, thorough testing is performed for lead paint hazards in federally assisted housing where children may potentially be exposed,” he said. 

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., is sponsoring the bill too.