State officials plan forum on lead screening of kids

Lead paint removal on an old church siding

Lead paint removal on an old church siding

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers and health officials have scheduled a public forum on the state’s efforts to prevent children from being exposed to lead.

The Legislature’s Children’s Committee and Public Health Committee will hold the forum Monday from 1-3 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Democratic state Rep. Diana Urban, of Stonington, said officials want to review the state’s lead exposure prevention programs.

Connecticut has required health care providers to perform annual lead blood screenings on children under 3 since 2009. The latest statistics show that about 3,100 children under the age of 6 in the state were diagnosed with lead poisoning in 2014.

Officials said the biggest risk for exposure is in older homes with lead paint. Lead poisoning in children can cause irreversible developmental delays.

“The Children’s Committee prides itself on vigilantly monitoring potential health concerns affecting children,” Urban said. “In light of recent events around the country that have raised awareness of the dangers of lead exposure in children, we want to review our current efforts to make sure Connecticut is doing everything it can to keep kids safe.”