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Bill to Ensure Lead Testing in California Children Passes State Assembly

For immediate release:

Sacramento – Yesterday, the State Assembly passed AB 2122 by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) with unanimous bi-partisan support. AB 2122 would ensure that the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) meets its state and federal mandates for blood lead testing in children.

Specifically, this bill requires the department to notify a child’s parent or guardian regarding lead test requirements and inform them when tests are missed. In addition, it requires the department to annually report on the department’s progress of meeting these requirements. Lastly, it ensures that DHCS does not contract with managed care providers who are not compliant with mandated blood lead tests.

“AB 2122 helps keep our children safe by ensuring that they are receiving blood lead tests and relevant services,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Protecting the state's most vulnerable must be a priority.  Studies have shown that lead exposure disproportionately impacts low income communities, and that the damage can cause cognitive disabilities and other forms of irreparable harm.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4 million households today have children who have been exposed to high levels of lead.  There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages one to five with blood lead levels above five micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.  There is no safe level of blood lead for children.

AB 2122 next goes to the State Senate to be heard in policy committee. For more information on the bill or to follow it, click here.

Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.