By Suzanne Monaghan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lead poisoning was brought to the national spotlight due to the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. But it’s also a problem in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth due, in part, to lead paint in older homes. Now, one lawmaker is looking for ways to address the problem.

Lead exposure robs children of their future. That’s the message from the experts who joined Senator Bob Casey on Monday for a roundtable discussion on the topic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“These are folks who have been in these trenches a long time. They know the challenge,” Casey said. “They’re not dealing in theory. They’re dealing with the reality of how do you reduce those lead levels which are far too high for too many children.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania is one of the top five states in the country with the highest percentage of young children exposed to lead.

“In Pennsylvania, it’s mostly a lead paint in the home problem,” Casey said, “as opposed to a lead in the water problem like we saw tragically in Michigan.”

They all agree there needs to be a proactive approach to prevention because lead poisoning can’t be cured. Some of the ideas presented include changing code enforcement so homes would be required to be lead-free and tax credits to homeowners to have the work completed.

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