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Bill to require lead testing for children to be reviewed Tuesday

| Friday, May 19, 2017, 12:48 p.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
After lead problems in Flint, Mich., and at Summit Elementary School in Butler County and Colfax Elementary in Springdale, state lawmakers again are proposing legislation that would require public schools to test their drinking water for lead annually. Allegheny County is considering a proposal that would require all young children in the county to be tested for lead.

Allegheny County Council is scheduled to review legislation Tuesday that, if it's ultimately approved, would require all children in the county to undergo a blood test to determine the amount of lead in their systems.

The county's Board of Health voted unanimously to recommend the proposal , requiring all children to be tested at ages 1 and 2. Children designated as “high risk” would undergo annual testing from ages 1 to 6.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald sponsored the measure, which has been in the works for more than a year.

The legislation includes exceptions for parents who decline the testing for religious or moral reasons, or if the screening is detrimental to the health of the child.

It also includes no enforcement measures, said Dr. Karen Hacker, executive director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Allegheny County Courthouse's Gold Room.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, or via Twitter @tclift.

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