Isaacson, Policy Committee Discuss Childhood Blood Lead Test Act

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17– State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., hosted today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the National Constitution Center to discuss her proposal to require mandatory childhood blood lead testing. 

Isaacson requested the hearing to gather stakeholder input on her H.B. 79, the proposed Childhood Blood Lead Test Act that would require all Pennsylvania children receive lead testing at ages one and two. 

“Pennsylvania is the second worst state in terms of childhood exposure to lead,” explained Isaacson. “We owe it to our children to implement mandatory testing that will ultimately help us identify and prevent harmful health and behavioral complications before it is too late.”

House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, added, “This is a basic public safety issue, and I am happy to support Representative Isaacson’s commonsense measure that will detect if children have exposure and ensure they get the treatment needed to be healthy and safe.”

In addition to Sturla, Isaacson was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Philadelphia, who also supports Isaacson’s proposal.

The committee heard testimony from Dr. Loren Robinson, deputy secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health; Rachel Kaminski, member, Get the Lead OUT: Riverwards Philadelphia; Colleen McCauley, health policy director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth; Dr. Kevin Osterhoudt, medical director, The Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and George Gould, senior attorney, Community Legal Services.

The meeting was one in a series held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, affordable health care, quality schools and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.

Testimony, photos and video from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.