By Carlotta Mohamed
State Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, in partnership with Kamin Health, offered free lead testing last week to residents of the Pomonok Houses at his Flushing district office.
Rosenthal along with the Pomonk Residents Association and local elected officials are aiming to raise awareness around the public health crisis that has disproportionately affected NYCHA residents. Since 2010, more than 1,000 children have tested positive for elevated lead levels in their blood, the New York Daily News reported. Following an extended investigation involving cover-ups and improper apartment inspections, the city has begun efforts to inspect 140,000 apartments for potential exposure to hazardous lead paint.
Rosenthal worked in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), and City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) to offer the free lead testing service to constituents on Nov. 27. More than a dozen residents participated in the event, including elderly constituents and young children at Rosenthal’s office located at 159-06 71st Ave.
“It is a shame that our families have become victims to improper management and care by the city,” said Rosenthal. “By offering free lead testing, we take the first steps towards ensuring that our children receive the medical attention they need. We will continue working together so that all residents of Pomonok have a safe and humane place to call home.”
Tamika Williams, president of the Pomonok Residents Association, said that given NYCHA’s current lead paint scandal, residents, parents, and concerned community leaders see the importance in having the screening in their community.
Meng urged Pomonok residents living in apartments to take advantage of the free testing.
“Health and safety must always be the top priority for those residing in NYCHA complexes and this free screening will provide Pomonok residents with answers about whether or not they’ve been exposed to lead,” said Meng.
Kamin Health, founded by Queens residents, will continue to offer free walk-in lead testing at Union Medical Urgent Care located at 186-06 Union Tpke in Fresh Meadows.
“Kamin Health recognizes this difficult situation and sympathizes with our fellow neighbors,” said Yaakov Landau, managing director. “We stand ready and willing to help in any way we can.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha