SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), along with Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino), and Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) applauded the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 2276, which will improve the rate of blood lead level testing and lead poisoning prevention for children. This legislation is the combined effort of Assemblymember Salas, Assemblymember Garcia, Assemblymember Reyes, and Assemblymember Quirk.
"With the passage of AB 2276, children throughout California will be better protected against the harmful effects of lead poisoning,” said Assemblymember Salas. “Millions of children are at risk of lead poisoning and need to be tested. I am pleased that the Governor signed this legislation which will ensure that we are taking the steps to protect our most vulnerable kids from lead poisoning and providing the help they need."
AB 2276 will increase blood lead screening testing for vulnerable children by requiring Medi-Cal managed care plans to identify every child without a record of completing the blood lead screening tests and will remind health care providers of those children of the requirement to perform blood lead screening tests. AB 2276 also requires the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) operated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to add risk factors such as a child’s residency in a high risk zip code and a child’s proximity to current or former lead-producing facilities, that will require blood lead level testing for children. Additionally, CDPH will be required to allocate funds more equitably by updating their funding formula based on the most recent data.
California ranks 31st among states in the nation for providing lead tests to 1- and 2- year-old children. When the State Auditor's Office reviewed data, they found that the rate of eligible children receiving the proper lead tests was less than 27 percent. A study from Duke University found that for every 5-microgram increase in blood lead, a person lost about 1.5 IQ points. Several studies have demonstrated childhood lead exposure has been associated with toxic effects on the immune system; which can lead to higher infection rates of COVID-19.
AB 2276 will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.