§ 23-24.6-2 Legislative findings.
The general assembly finds, upon the report of the environmental lead task force and the reports, hearings, and records of its own committees and of federal agencies including the environmental protection agency and centers for disease control, that:
(1) Environmental exposures to even low levels of lead increase a child's risks of developing permanent learning disabilities, reduced concentration and attentiveness and behavior problems, problems which may persist and adversely affect the child's chances for success in school and life.
(2) Childhood lead poisoning is caused by environmental exposure to lead. The most significant sources of environmental lead are lead based paint in older housing and house dust and soil contaminated by this paint.
(3) Childhood lead poisoning is completely preventable.
(4) Rhode Island does not currently have a comprehensive strategy in place for preventing childhood lead poisoning. As a result, tens of thousands of Rhode Island's children are poisoned by lead at levels believed to be harmful with most of these poisoned children going undiagnosed and untreated.
(5) Childhood lead poisoning is dangerous to the public health, safety, and general welfare of the people and necessitates excessive and disproportionate expenditure of public funds for health care and special education, causing a drain upon public revenue.
(6) The enactment and enforcement of this chapter is essential to the public interest. It is intended that the provisions of this chapter be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.
(7) The magnitude of the childhood lead poisoning in Rhode Island's older homes and urban areas is a result of approved use of lead based materials over an extended period in public buildings and systems and private housing that a comprehensive approach is necessary to alleviate the cause, identify and treat the children, rehabilitate the affected housing where young children reside, and dispose of the hazardous material. Rhode Island presently does not have the public or the private resources to handle the total problem, requiring prioritizing on a need basis.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 355, § 1.)