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Number of Children Reported with High Blood Lead Levels Down 85 Percent

The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning reports a 30-percent decline in the number of children reported with elevated blood lead levels in the past year, and an 85-percent reduction in Monroe County in the past decade.

Mel Callan is a family nurse practioner at Highland Family Medicine Center and co-chair of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.

She says the anti-lead poisoning effort in Rochester has truly been the most remarkable community collaboration that she's ever been involved with.

"We've done a remarkable job of educating landlords, educating families, and everybody doing the work that needs to be done to make the houses lead safe."

Still there's work to be done.

Callan says in the past year, 609 Rochester-area children had unacceptably high blood lead levels.

And children under 6 living in the city of Rochester, African-American and Latino children are disproportionately being poisoned by lead paint dust.

Lead poisoning has been linked to learning disabilities and violent behavior, among other things.