Lead | New Hampshire Public Radio

Lead

Wayne Marshall / Flickr creative commons

Childhood health advocates in Nashua pushed for a greater focus on lead poisoning at a virtual conference Wednesday.

The state is now requiring universal lead testing for kids aged one and two, as well as public health interventions and remediation by landlords at lower levels of exposure.

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There’s no level of lead exposure considered truly safe, and it can lead to developmental problems.

A new study says children drinking from private water wells may be more likely to have unsafe levels of lead in their bloodstreams.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

State legislators in the coming session will consider making the state's new lead testing standards for schools and daycares more strict.

The current rule went into effect this past summer. It requires childcare facilities to test their water for lead and take action if they find it above 15 parts per billion.

Tom Irwin is New Hampshire director of the Conservation Law Foundation and helped push for that new law. But he says it doesn't go far enough.

CREDIT ANITA MARTINZ / CREATIVE COMMONS

New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services says about 300 families were sent an erroneous letter saying a blood test for their children showed elevated levels of lead.

The department's Division for Public Health Services apologized for the error in a news release Wednesday.

It said the false notification was the result of a processing error.

Anita Martinz / Creative Commons

A new state law took effect Monday that aims to protect more New Hampshire children from lead poisoning.

Part of the legislation that passed last year has already begun. It sets up universal lead testing for young children – requiring doctors to test all 1- and 2-year-olds for lead poisoning, unless parents opt out.

Jack Rodolico / NHPR

The state is fining real estate developer Brady Sullivan $500,000 for breaking environmental regulations.

The case stems from construction of the Mill West apartments in Manchester, where tenants settled with the company in 2017 for lead exposures.

John K via Flickr CC

 

The Department of Education has received $1.6 million in federal funds to help schools pay for upgrades to water systems found to have lead.

The grant is coming through the N.H Department of Environmental Services, which received the money as part of a 2013 settlement with Exxon Mobil.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

New Hampshire schools have until next summer to get in compliance with the state’s new lead testing law. But advocates hope schools won’t wait to begin the process.

Exposure to almost any amount of lead can cause developmental delays and other health issues in young children.

LPC

This summer, the state is paying anglers to give up their lead fishing tackle, in an effort to protect loons from lead poisoning. 

Loons are a threatened species that’s iconic in New England. They can eat lead sinkers or jigs inside fish, or they might ingest bits of lead among the pebbles they swallow to help digest food.

“The smallest little split shot that you can imagine, if it’s ingested by a loon, is going to kill that bird within two to four weeks,” says Harry Vogel, the executive director of the Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough.

Via apartments.com

New Hampshire-based developer Brady Sullivan is facing calls for more investigations at a building it owns in Rhode Island.

The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed a report that it's investigating potential lead contamination at the Harris Mill Lofts in Coventry, Rhode Island.

Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would strengthen rules to prevent childhood lead poisoning is one step closer to the governor’s desk.

The New Hampshire House passed the proposal by a wide margin on the first session day of the year Wednesday.

The bill, which was a holdover from last year, mandates lead testing for all New Hampshire kids aged 1 and 2, though parents can opt out.

It also lowers the blood-lead level at which the state will intervene, and creates a loan fund to help landlords deal with lead paint issues.

Jack Rodolico/NHPR

A group of Manchester residents exposed to elevated levels of lead dust has reached a settlement with property developer Brady Sullivan.

Several dozen residents of the Mill West apartment complex in Manchester sued Brady Sullivan, contending that the company’s construction project in 2015 in lower levels of the mill building kicked up dangerous levels of lead-dust into luxury apartments on higher floors.

They also say Brady Sullivan, after making complaints about the lead exposure, would not let them out of their leases.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Some landlords aren't happy with changes to a bill aimed at reducing the hazard that lead paint poses to children's health.

The House Finance Committee last week recommended passage of a bill that would require health care providers to offer lead testing to all children age 2 and younger. The bill would also lower the threshold necessary to trigger mandatory action by landlords to remove harmful sources of lead.

The Concord Monitor reports that the bill will head to the full House in January with an amendment that many property owners oppose.

Britta Greene / NHPR

The parking lot was overflowing at Claremont’s back-to-school fair this year, held at a playing field just outside of downtown. Families with young kids checked out the fire truck and race cars, and visited booths offering back-to-school info, giveaways and games.

One booth had a freebie no child was begging for: free on-site lead tests. 


Peter Crowley via Flickr CC

Lead tests will be required for all students entering kindergarten and pre-k in Claremont schools this fall.

The district is believed to be the first in New Hampshire to require the screenings for students.

Claremont is one of several communities where health officials recommend that all children be screened, largely because of its older housing stock. Lead paint can be poisonous to children even in tiny amounts.

Mike Mozart

Proposed Senate Bill 247 aims to prevent lead poisoning in children by strengthening lead testing requirements for children, and placing stricter requirements on properties containing lead paint. For some families, lead poisoning has caused long-term health problems that sometimes don't appear until years after exposure, and experts think the restrictions are not strong enough. However, landlords worry that the new requirements would be difficult to comply with, and come at a huge cost, and funding will be insufficient. For example, companies like Brady Sullivan are still managing fallout from lead poisoning several years ago that contributed to health problems in children living at their properties. We'll look at all sides of this issue.


Jack Rodolico

Just as the school year began, the Manchester School District announced there was lead in the drinking water at some of its schools.

That contamination is now cleaned up. But in the aftermath of Flint, Michigan’s massive drinking water crisis, this small scare in Manchester highlights a concern among New Hampshire’s public health officials: there is no comprehensive lead testing done on drinking water in schools across the state.

John K via Flickr CC

Sinks and water fountains in nine Manchester schools have been turned off after testing found levels at or higher than acceptable levels. 

The school district tested water in all of its 22 schools over the summer, prompted by the crisis in Flint, Mich. That testing found 25 sinks and water fountains at 12 schools measured at a lead level at or higher than the acceptable limit of 15 parts per billion. 

Jack Rodolico/NHPR

The Environmental Protection Agency is accusing one of New Hampshire’s most prominent real estate developers of breaking two federal lead paint laws. It’s the latest in a string of public health complaints against Brady Sullivan Properties. 

The EPA wants Brady Sullivan Properties to pay close to $140,000 in fines. 

Jack Rodolico

The Department of Environmental Services has referred an illegal dumping case involving Brady Sullivan Properties to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office for review. 

In 2013, Brady Sullivan Properties was responsible for moving more than 600 tons of contaminated soil from a Manchester mill yard to a gravel pit in Londonderry.  Groundwater below the dumping site is contaminated with PCE, a chemical linked to cancer.

Jack Rodolico

Working on a tip from a confidential source, federal and state regulators investigated how piles of asbestos-laden debris ended up in Lawrence, Mass. outside a building owned by Brady Sullivan Properties, one of New Hampshire’s largest real estate developers.

Gloconda Beekman / Flickr/CC

After the Flint, Michigan water crisis, many around the country started taking a closer look their own water systems. And with a recent contamination scare in southern New Hampshire by the chemical PFOA  - the concerns have become local.  We'll look at the state's sources for drinking water, and the challenges to delivering it free from contaminants.

Jack Rodolico

Brady Sullivan Properties is a step closer to defending itself before a jury. Forty tenants are suing the property owner and landlord for lead contamination at Mill West, a luxury riverfront apartment complex in Manchester.

New Hampshire's Lead Poisoning Problem

Nov 9, 2015
Diego Torres Silvestre / Flickr/CC

While the harmful effects of lead on young children have been well-documented for decades, public health experts say the issue remains a major concern in this state and that stronger policies are needed.  We'll look at efforts to curb the impact and prevent future poisoning, and also why change has been so difficult.

Jack Rodolico

Manchester is getting a $2.9 million grant from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development to remediate lead hazards in 175 housing units.

While this is the fourth time the Queen City has received the federal grant, the announcement from Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office comes on the heels of a new state law aimed at educating families about lead hazards, and as one of the state's largest landlords faces a lawsuit over lead contamination in a Manchester apartment complex.

Jack Rodolico

Shaghaf Mohammed has seen too much in her 11 years. Her family fled Iraq in 2013. And when they left, they never could have guessed the battle they’d face in their new home in Manchester. Shaghaf’s four-year-old sister, Aleel, is sick with lead poisoning.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

A new state law aims to boost the number of children screened for lead poisoning. There's good reason New Hampshire is aiming for that goal.

Children aged 0-6 are the most likely to suffer permanent health and cognitive damage from lead exposure. Yet in 2013, New Hampshire tested a mere 16.5 percent of children in this age group for elevated blood lead levels. That's concerning because 62 percent of New Hampshire's houses were built before 1978 - the year the federal government cracked down on lead paint.

Eric Fleming

One of New Hampshire’s largest landlords, Brady Sullivan Properties, is under scrutiny from city, state and federal regulators for lead contamination in one of its buildings in Manchester. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

In recent months, tenants of Manchester's Mill West complex have been complaining of construction-related lead dust in their apartments. The building's developer, Brady Sullivan Properties, has faced scrutiny from state and municipal health agencies over the issue. Compiled from news reports, interviews with regulators, and tenant correspondence, the timeline below tracks the developments in this ongoing story.

Jack Rodolico

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action against Brady Sullivan Properties because of lead contamination.

The order demands Brady Sullivan clean up a mixed commercial and luxury apartment building in Manchester by July 15, and lays the groundwork for EPA to potentially fine or sue the landlord.

In May, Brady Sullivan hired a contractor to do sandblasting in Mill West, a converted mill. The contractor didn’t have the proper permits, and spread lead dust into more than three-quarters of the apartments above.

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