As National attention is getting focused on the water crisis in Flint Michigan, locally we are having problems of our own. Oneida County has the highest Lead Poisoning Rates in all of New York.

According to WRVO, the average number of lead poisoning cases among New York state children in 2014, was about 1.6 percent in each county. Locally, it was 2 percent in Herkimer County and 6.7 percent in Oneida County. The problem stems mainly from lead-based paint, according to the Oneida County Health Department.

"Upstate New York and these two counties, it’s a lot of old buildings," Ellis said. "And, many of our buildings have been built prior to the 1970s' regulations where we were not allowed to use lead in paint anymore and lead in gas.""

Many old homes in Central New York still have traces of lead paint in the walls, and also in the ground. Many places you aren't able to have a garden in the ground due to this issue.

So how are we attempting to fix this problem locally? The Oneida County Health Department sets aside $1 million a year preventing lead poisoning among children, and helping them with treatment. This program also provides education materials to educate , the public,  pediatricians, parents and healthcare providers, about lead poisoning and how to avoid exposure. There is no known cure for lead poisoning.

 


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