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Letter: Grateful for work of Rep. Harry Warren

Ending childhood lead exposure is a proven strategy to protect young children’s long-term health and development. Even low-level exposure to lead can reduce IQ, harming children’s long-term health, success in school and earning potential over their lifetimes. Unfortunately, some sources of exposure still remain. They are often in lower-income neighborhoods where older buildings mean that old lead paint, or pipes & plumbing fixtures that contain lead, are still in use.

In 2021, Rep. Harry Warren sponsored legislation to update our state’s childhood lead poisoning prevention statute. Thanks to his efforts, House Bill 272 was signed into law on July 2nd. This will mean lower lead levels in drinking water for tens of thousands of young children across the state.

The timing couldn’t be better: The American Rescue Plan contains millions of dollars in funding that can be used to test for lead, and remove lead, from North Carolina schools and child care centers.

When it comes to lead, North Carolina is a public health leader. I am grateful to Rep. Harry Warren for his work to continue that legacy, and keep all our children safer from lead exposure.

— Michelle Hughes

Raleigh

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