WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The governor is celebrating a new law that will strengthen childhood lead poisoning standards in Connecticut, aligning the state’s standards with federal standards and helping alleviate the risks associated with lead poisoning.

The new law requires parents to be notified of lead in blood at lower levels. It also empowers the Connecticut Department of Public Health to require more frequent testing of children living in cities and towns where exposure to lead is most common.

“Childhood lead poisoning has catastrophic impacts on health and development, including irreversible learning and developmental disabilities,” Lamont said. “In particular, this problem has most deeply impacted minority families and those who live in disadvantaged communities. For too long, the standards for lead testing and treatment in Connecticut have fallen well behind the best practices, and I am glad we are making these long-overdue updates.”

According to the state’s public health department, these top 5 cities contributed to 49% of the elevated lead level cases.

1. New Haven

2. Bridgeport

3. Waterbury

4. Hartford

5. Meriden

“The children being protected by this law are the future, and we need their homes, their schools and the places they are being cared for to be safe,” Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, said. “The damages cause by lead are permanent and we have not done what’s in our control to help these young people.”

Public Act 22-49 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, except for a provision related to a lead poisoning prevention and treatment working group, which is now in effect.

Additional data about the prevalence of elevated lead levels in Connecticut is available here.