HARRISBURG, June 22, 2016 – The state Senate Committee on Urban Affairs and Housing today unanimously approved Sen. Wayne D. Fontana’s bill that would give home buyers the option of requesting that a prospective home be tested to determine what level of lead is in the water.

The Fontana bill (Senate Bill 20) is part of a five-bill package aimed at protecting Pennsylvania children and families from the growing threat of lead poisoning caused by worsening levels of lead exposure from old pipes and lead-based paints.

“I am pleased by the bipartisan support for my bill that would help home-buyers make a more informed decision when they are buying a home,” Fontana said. “With the growing concern about lead exposure, this measure provides buyers with a better sense of potential risks with the property.”

The Brookline lawmaker said he was alarmed to learn that 18 Pennsylvania cities tested higher than Flint, Michigan for elevated blood levels. He said the state’s aging infrastructure compounds the problem. Fontana added that lead in water can be a safety concern, especially for families with young children or where a mother is pregnant.

A realtor himself, Fontana noted that lead testing typically runs from $20 to $50. He said it’s a reasonable expense to assure that a home’s drinking water is safe. He added that if a home does test positive for high levels of lead, there are in-home treatment systems available to remedy the situation.

Following today’s committee vote, Senate Bill 20 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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