Rates of lead testing for the first six months of 2005 are running below those for 2004. City Health Department officials are advising parents and physicians to be more diligent in testing children under the age of 6 for blood lead levels. State laws and regs require the annual testing of all young children in the City and in 12 St. Louis county zip codes. In her memo, City health commissioner Melba Moore calls the drop in testing percentages a “crisis” — and she will be working with state and county officials over the next 6 weeks to send staffers to local doctors’ offices and clinics to remind them of the law and a range of new testing methods. Moore notes that free lead testing is available at the Health Department.Moore also advises residents to use one of the City’s convenient neighborhood Federally Qualified Health Centers to complete the immunizations required for admission to school and daycare facilities.Finally, the Refuse Division reports that it has staffed 3 tenant evictions in recent weeks. Under a policy I announced earlier this summer, landlords who evict tenants must throw away or store their belongings themselves. Or they can also pay the City to get rid of the stuff. Landlords who dump "household goods, furnishings or any other personal property" in public rights of way can face fines or time in jail.
A couple of hours in an airplane yesterday gave me some time to do some reading.