Dr. Karen Hacker

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pennsylvania’s second-largest county could become the first in the state to require all children to be tested for high lead levels in their blood.

The Allegheny County Board of Health on Wednesday unanimously recommended the proposal, which would require two tests, around ages 1 and 2. The regulation must be approved by the county council and county executive. It would take effect in January.

Allegheny County Health Department director Karen Hacker says she believes testing is necessary because most homes in the county were built before lead was banned in paint.

Hacker says universal lead testing in high-risk areas is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is already required in 11 states and Washington, D.C.

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