After the Daily News revealed Friday that NYCHA workers for years cleaned lead paint apartments without required training, Mayor de Blasio offered free blood-lead tests for some children living in public housing.
For years, NYCHA workers inspected apartments for lead paint and removed it without training required by the federal government.
That changed only recently, but sources told the News that the use of untrained workers over all those years has made it impossible for the authority to now know the true scope of the problem.
In response, de Blasio spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie issued a brief statement emphasizing that “the repainting taking place from here forward is being done by workers and vendors with the proper training.”
Sixto Martinez, 51, lives in apartment 12A at 320 E. 156th St. inside the Melrose Houses in the South Bronx.
(Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)
She said that City Hall “out of an abundance of caution” will pay to test blood-lead levels of all children living in apartments that were cleaned up and repainted after 2016 inspections, “before this improved training was in place.”
The News reported that workers inspecting apartments for lead paint have been mandated for years to obtain a certificate stating they’d taken a HUD Lead Paint Visual Assessment training course.
NYCHA admitted that they only started making that a requirement in mid-2016.
And workers tasked with cleaning up lead paint apartments have been required for years to get an Environmental Protection Agency Lead Renovator Certificate. NYCHA only started making that a requirement in August.
Sherron Page, who lives in the NYCHA Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, discovered that her 4-year-old son, Kyan, tested positive for having a high level of lead in his blood.
(Frank Posillico/New York Daily News)
The News also reported that Teamsters Local 237 President Greg Floyd had asked NYCHA to test his workers back in 2016 after news of a federal investigation of the authority emerged.
Lapeyrolerie said going forward, “We will also work with NYCHA to offer testing to any workers involved.”