PTL Shop and The Jim Bakker Show now on ZLiving!

Zliving.com

By Kami Klein

PTL Television Network is thrilled to announce our partnership with the ZLiving Network!   ZLiving is your guide to natural living and wellness, providing healthy recipes, motivating fitness tips, alternative remedies, and clean beauty advice. As a leading media brand, ZLiving is devoted to showcasing the best healthy lifestyle and wellness programming and content across multiple media platforms, including TV, web, and on-demand streaming services. There are so many incredible programs to watch and now ZLiving is offering PTL Shop and The Jim Bakker Show!    

ZLiving is about getting the most out of every day and we think that PTL Shop and The Jim Bakker Show will fit right in with their amazing programming.  Beginning Monday, July 29th you can tune in to watch PTL Shop, Monday thru Friday at 5 am ET and at 5:30 am ET. The Jim Bakker Show will air every Monday thru Friday at 7 am ET!  Here is where you can tune in:

ZLiving Ways to Watch

ZLiving Ways to Watch

Healthy living if for your body, mind and soul!  We hope you will tune in to ZLiving and check out more life tips! Begin your wellness journey and watch PTL Shop and The Jim Bakker Show, starting July 29th, 2019 on ZLiving! 

Medicare hospital fund reserves likely to be exhausted in 2026: U.S. report

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Seema Verma (C) is joined by Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance (L) at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

(Reuters) – Medicare’s hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, as previously forecast, and Social Security program costs are likely to exceed total income in 2020 for the first time since 1982, according to a government report released on Monday.

The report from the board of trustees for Social Security and Medicare also projected that Social Security funds could be depleted by 2035, leading to potential reductions in expected payouts to retirees and other beneficiaries.

U.S. healthcare costs are expected to be a hot topic during the 2020 presidential campaign, with uncertainty around possible cost-cutting solutions already weighing on healthcare stocks this year.

Senator Bernie Sanders, among a large field of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has unveiled a “Medicare-for-All” plan that would eliminate private insurance and shift all Americans to a public healthcare plan.

However, Republicans have denounced the proposal as impractical and too expensive.

“At a time when some are calling for a complete government takeover of the American health care system, the Medicare Trustees have delivered a dose of reality in reminding us that the program’s main trust fund for hospital services can only pay full benefits for seven more years,” Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said.

The report said costs associated with the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) trust fund, which covers drug costs in Part B and D in the program for seniors, are likely to grow steadily from 2.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2018 to about 3.7 percent of GDP in 2038, given the aging U.S. population and rising costs.

Cost projections for Part D drug spending, which covers prescription medicines obtained at the pharmacy, are lower than in last year’s report because of slower price growth and a trend of increasing manufacturer rebates, CMS said.

Part B primarily involves specialty drugs administered on an in-patient basis.

Trustees project that the SMI fund for Part B and Part D will remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law provides financing from general revenues and beneficiary premiums each year to meet the next year’s expected costs.

The Trump administration in January proposed a rule that would overhaul the use of rebates in government-run healthcare plans, potentially ending a decades-long system under which drugmakers provide large discounts off the list price of their medicines to benefits managers and insurers rather than to consumers.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Philippines says anti-dengue vaccine may be connected to three deaths

Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo (R), Undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH), with Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), answer questions during a news conference at the DOH headquarter in metro Manila, Philippines February 2, 2018.

By Manuel Mogato

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines said on Friday the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia may be connected to three deaths in the country, according to a government-ordered inquiry, and that the drug is not ready for mass immunisation.

French drug maker Sanofi said in November that Dengvaxia – the world’s first dengue vaccine – might increase the risk of severe disease in people who had never been exposed to the virus.

The news prompted an uproar in the Philippines, where more than 800,000 school-age children had been vaccinated in 2016.

“We sympathise with all the families who have suffered the loss of a child. Sanofi Pasteur’s mission is to reduce or eliminate suffering for millions around the world through vaccination, including in the Philippines,” a spokesman for Sanofi said in an emailed statement.

“Dengue fever is one of the most pressing public health issues facing the Philippines today. Sanofi Pasteur remains committed to working with the Philippines government and all organisations to address this urgent public health challenge.”

The Philippine Health Ministry halted Dengvaxia immunisations in November. It formed a 10-member panel of experts to determine if the drug was directly connected to the deaths of 14 children after they were given the vaccine.

It found it may have been connected to the deaths of three.

“Three cases were found to have causal association. They died of dengue even (though) they were given Dengvaxia. Two of them may have died because of vaccine failure,” Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo told a news conference.

“These findings strengthen the decision of the Department of Health to stop the vaccine. It has failed in some children. Dengvaxia is not ready for mass vaccinations and we would need three to five more years to watch and monitor if there would be other adverse reactions from the vaccine.”

Mosquito-borne dengue is the world’s fastest-growing infectious disease, afflicting up to 100 million people worldwide, causing half a million life-threatening infections and killing about 20,000 people, mostly children, each year.

Domingo said the panel’s findings would be shared with the justice department, which is considering cases against those responsible for the mass immunisation programme.

Paediatrician and panel member Juliet Sio-Aguilar, from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, said the team was recommending further studies as it was difficult to directly connect the three deaths to Dengvaxia.

No vaccine has a 100 percent success rate, she said. The dengue death rate in the Philippines was 60 times higher than global rate, Sio-Aguilar said.

The Philippines spent 3.5 billion pesos ($68 million) on the Dengvaxia programme to reduce the 200,000 dengue cases reported every year.

The Philippines has already fined Sanofi a symbolic $2,000, citing violations in product registration and marketing.

(Additional reporting by Ben Hirshler in London, Matthias Blamont in Paris; Editing by Nick Macfie and David Evans)

Flu Spreading Rapidly across the Country, CDC reports increase since Christmas

Weekly report of widespread flu cases throughout the US from the CDC

By Kami Klein

Flu season is upon us and this year according to the CDC, reports do not look good. In states like California, pharmacies are running out of flu medicine, emergency rooms are packed with patients, and the death toll is three times higher now than this time last year.  So far, in that state alone 27 people under the age of 65 have died since October.  And the cases have now spread across the country.   

The flu outbreak covers the entire United States with many hospitals filling to capacity.  Although it has not been called an epidemic yet, this year’s flu season has already spread faster and further than it did last year at this time. The CDC has also reported that during the week of Christmas the flu virus has increased sharply across the nation.  

The Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica are seeing over 200 patients a day in emergency rooms.  Dr. Wally Ghurabi, the ER medical director remarked on what they are seeing daily, “The Northridge earthquake was the last time we saw over 200 patients.”  

Methodist Dallas Medical Center’s emergency room is so overrun with flu cases that it is asking people with non-emergency symptoms to go to urgent care centers or see a primary care physician. And many hospitals have gone into diversion mode having to send ambulances to other hospitals and not accepting flu patients.  

The most prevalent strain of flu that is being reported by public health laboratories is influenza A(H3).  Symptoms come on suddenly and can begin with any of these symptoms; Body Aches, Fever, Headache, Sore Throat, Cough, Exhaustion, Cold like symptoms of Congestion and more frequently in children can include Vomiting and Diarrhea.

According to the CDC, most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus.

It is vital to note that people with the flu can spread it to others from up to about 6 feet away when those infected cough, sneeze or talk and the droplets land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or are inhaled into the lungs. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

If you have been exposed to the flu, being aware of the risk of spreading is vital to slowing down this virus. Encourage family, friends and co-workers to frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub. Frequently touched surfaces such as telephones, computer keyboards, desks, doorknobs, light switches, should be cleaned and disinfected especially if someone ill has been around them.  

Anyone who is sick should stay home! By going to work or school you are only putting others who come into contact with you and their families at risk. Those who are the most vulnerable for this virus to become fatal are the very young, the elderly, and those that have other medical conditions. But there have been reports of healthy adults who are succumbing to this virus.  

Nobody is immune to the flu virus.  Health officials say that it is not too late for a flu shot even though at this time the current vaccine is only 10% effective in avoiding this strain of flu, but are also stating that while the flu shot may not protect you from the getting the flu it can absolutely help in your recovery if you are exposed to it.  

 

NOTE:  Morningside hopes you are taking good care of yourself. For many health items we use here at the ministry that can help you stay at your healthiest, please visit our store!

 

With no deal on children’s health plan, U.S. states scramble for Plan B

With no deal on children's health plan, U.S. states scramble for Plan B

By Jilian Mincer and Yasmeen Abutaleb

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For Nancy Minoui of Portland, Oregon, and Crystal Lett of Dublin, Ohio, Congress’ failure to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program is not some distant tale of political wrangling.

For Minoui, it’s about how to provide care for her daughter, Marion Burgess, born last Valentine’s Day with a hole in her heart. For Lett it’s about providing care for her 6-year-old son, Noble, who was born with a complex genetic disorder.

They are among thousands of parents across the country scrambling to look after low-income children whose medical care is funded by a traditionally bipartisan program, known as CHIP, that is now facing a shutdown after Congressional Republicans tied its fate to other legislative battles.

U.S. states, which administer the program but rely on federal funds, and healthcare providers are now preparing for the shutdown they had desperately hoped to avoid.

Virginia began on Tuesday sending notices to tens of thousands of families that the 20-year-old program would close by Jan. 31 without new federal funding. Connecticut is due to mail similar notices this week.

More than a dozen states, including New York and Utah, are poised to send warning notices to families by the end of this month.

Some hospitals and medical providers are encouraging patients to schedule additional doctor appointments and refill prescriptions before the deadline. Others, like the Texas Children’s Hospital, are identifying families with the most seriously ill children, including cancer patients and transplant recipients, to help obtain alternate coverage.

CHIP provides health benefits to almost 9 million children whose families earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance, and has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1997.

But this year, funding for the program expired on Sept. 30. Congressional Republicans have tied its fate to other legislative battles, including attempts to repeal Obamacare and a newer effort to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

Lawmakers had hoped to pass a five-year CHIP funding extension before they adjourned for the year. But aides in the House of Representatives and the Senate say they may not get to it until early 2018.

In the meantime, states have been spending down whatever was left of their CHIP funds, and some have received temporary relief from a $3 billion reserve.

Minnesota became the first state to run out of money altogether in November, and is keeping the program afloat from its own budget, projecting a $178 million deficit if Congress does not act next year.

Oregon expects to run out of federal money before the end of 2017, while Colorado was the first to begin notifying families of a Jan. 31 cutoff in late November.

A third of states expect to exhaust funds by the end of January, and an additional 21 expect to run out by the end of March, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than 1.2 million children are expected to lose health benefits if funding is not restored in 2018.

“We are spending a ridiculous amount of time and energy trying to kick Congress in the seat of their pants to get this done,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, said in an interview.

HOSPITALS PROMISING CARE

Hospitals have convened emergency meetings to see how they can salvage care for seriously ill patients, and determine their own financial hit from covering more uninsured children, according to interviews with nearly a dozen hospital officials.

“No child should be the pawn of politics,” said Dr. Judy Aschner, physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York City. “We provide all levels of care to children and their families, regardless of ability to pay, and will continue to do so whatever the outcome for CHIP.”

Denver Health Medical Center sent letters last week to 9,500 patients, encouraging them to schedule exams and refill prescriptions before the deadline. Dr. Meg Tomcho, a pediatrician affiliated with the hospital, plans to work additional shifts and write prescriptions for three months rather than one to accommodate families.

Jill Pidcock of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, scheduled early appointments for her two sons. She and her husband dropped their health insurance a few years ago, and CHIP has made a huge difference, particularly for her 14-year-old, who has autism.

Minoui, of Portland, Oregon, said her 10-month-old daughter may need heart surgery in the coming months.

“It’s hard enough when your child is sick and you’re waiting to see if they can get well, let alone waiting to see if you’re going to be covered,” Minoui said.

State officials have debated when to notify families, hoping that Congress would come through and spare them anxiety. Some must meet state laws requiring 30-day or 60-day advance notice of the program’s shutdown.

Lett, of Dublin, Ohio doesn’t know how she will afford care for her son, Noble, who, because of his complex genetic disorder Prader-Willi Syndrome, requires daily growth hormone injections, numerous doctor visits and multiple therapy sessions each week.

Lett works two part-time jobs in order to have flexibility for his many appointments.

“We’re holding onto the hope that they will do the right thing by our family and everybody else’s family,” she said.

(Reporting by Jilian Mincer in New York and Yasmeen Abutaleb in Washington; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Leslie Adler)

Philippines orders probe into Sanofi dengue vaccine for 730,000 children

Philippines orders probe into Sanofi dengue vaccine for 730,000 children

By Manolo Serapio Jr and Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines ordered an investigation on Monday into the immunization of more than 730,000 children with a vaccine for dengue that has been suspended following an announcement by French drug company Sanofi <SASY.PA> that it could worsen the disease in some cases.

The World Health Organization said it hoped to conduct a full review by year-end of data on the vaccine, commercially known as Dengvaxia. In the meantime, the WHO recommended that it only be used in people who had a prior infection with dengue.

The government of Brazil, where dengue is a significant health challenge, confirmed it already had recommended restricted use of the vaccine but had not suspended it entirely.

Amid mounting public concern, Sanofi explained its “new findings” at a news conference in Manila but did not say why action was not taken after a WHO report in mid-2016 that identified the risk it was now flagging.

A non-governmental organization (NGO) said it had received information that three children who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia in the Philippines had died and a senator said he was aware of two cases.

However, Department of Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo told Reuters the three referred to by the NGO died due to causes not related to the vaccine and Sanofi said no deaths had been reported as a result of the program.

“As far as we know, as far as we are made aware, there are no reported deaths that are related to dengue vaccination,” said Ruby Dizon, medical director at Sanofi Pasteur Philippines.

Last week, the Philippines Department of Health halted the use of Dengvaxia after Sanofi said it must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people not previously exposed to the infection.

In a statement, Sanofi said the long-term safety evaluation of the vaccines showed significantly fewer hospitalizations due to dengue in vaccinated people over 9 years old compared with those who had not been vaccinated.

Nearly 734,000 children aged 9 and over in the Philippines have received one dose of the vaccine as part of a program that cost 3.5 billion pesos ($69.54 million).

The Department of Justice on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into “the alleged danger to public health … and if evidence so warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon.”

There was no indication that Philippines health officials knew of any risks when they administered the vaccination.

However, the WHO said in a July 2016 research paper that “vaccination may be ineffective or may theoretically even increase the future risk of hospitalized or severe dengue illness in those who are seronegative at the time of first vaccination regardless of age.”

Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority said last week that it flagged risks when Dengvaxia was approved there in October 2016, and was working with Sanofi to strengthen risk warnings on the drug’s packaging.

According to Sanofi in Manila, 19 licences were granted for Dengvaxia, and it was launched in 11 countries, two of which – the Philippines and Brazil – had public vaccination programs.

Brazil’s healthcare regulator Anvisa said in a statement that it now recommends that people who have never been infected with dengue not take the vaccine, which was approved for use in Brazil at the end of 2015.

It was not known whether many people have taken the vaccine, if it was part of any government immunization program or if any illnesses or deaths linked to the drug have been reported to the government.

Anvisa did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Health Ministry.

A spokesman for Sanofi in Paris was not immediately available for comment. “A SHAMELESS SCAM” A spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday the government would hold to account those responsible for the program.

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin, who implemented the program under the administration of then-President Benigno Aquino, said she welcomed the investigation.

“In the event that there will be authorities who will point culpability to me, I am ready to face the consequences,” she told ANC TV. “We implemented it in accordance with WHO guidance and recommendations.”

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said there had been no reported case of severe dengue infection since the vaccine was administered and urged the public “not to spread information that may cause undue alarm.”

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, an NGO, said it was checking a report that three children on the northern island of Luzon had died since being vaccinated in April 2016 but the Department of Health said the deaths were not due to Dengvaxia.

“When we evaluated the clinical records, it was not related to the dengue vaccination,” Bayugo said.

A prominent senator, Richard Gordon, told Reuters he was aware of two deaths – but gave no details – and said approval and procurement for the program was done with “undue haste.”

Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease. Although it is not as serious as malaria, it is spreading rapidly in many parts of the world, killing about 20,000 people a year and infecting hundreds of millions.

While Sanofi’s Dengvaxia is the first-ever approved vaccine for dengue, scientists already recognized it was not perfect and did not protect equally against the four different types of the virus in clinical tests.

A new analysis from six years of clinical data showed Dengvaxia vaccine provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection.

But for those not previously infected by the virus, more cases of severe disease could occur in the long term following vaccination, Sanofi said.

(Additional reporting by Karen Lema in Manila, John Geddie in Singapore and Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Bill Trott)

Special Report: Lead poisoning lurks in scores of New York areas

Special Report: Lead poisoning lurks in scores of New York areas

By Joshua Schneyer and M.B. Pell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In public health circles, New York City is known for its long war on lead poisoning.

The city outlawed residential lead paint in 1960, 18 years before a national ban. A 2004 housing law targeted “elimination” of childhood lead poisoning within six years. The city offers free lead testing in housing, vows to fix hazards and bill landlords when necessary, and has seen childhood exposure rates decline year after year.

Yet inspectors didn’t visit the Brooklyn apartment where Barbara Ellis lived until after her twin daughters tested high for lead three years in a row, she said. They found peeling lead paint on doors and windows. The girls required speech and occupational therapy for their developmental delays, common among lead-exposed children.

“Their words and speech are still a little slurred,” Ellis, a subway conductor, said of daughters Kaitlyn and Chasity, now 6. Tired of feuding with their landlord, they found new lodging in Harlem.

The family’s plight is not uncommon.

Areas of high lead exposure risk remain throughout America’s largest and richest city, a Reuters exploration of blood testing data found. In the first examination of its kind, reporters obtained New York childhood blood testing data down to the census tract level – neighborhood areas with some 4,000 residents apiece. In densely populated New York, a tract often covers several square blocks.

While poisoning has nearly been eliminated in many neighborhoods, Reuters identified 69 New York City census tracts where at least 10 percent of small children screened over an 11-year period, from 2005 to 2015, had elevated lead levels.

That is twice the rate found across Flint, Michigan, during the peak of its notorious water contamination crisis in 2014 and 2015, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 5 percent of children’s tests were high.

The risk areas spanned New York neighborhoods and demographic groups. Peeling old paint is a conspicuous hazard, but reporters tracked other perils hiding in plain sight, from leaded soil and water, to dangerous toys, cosmetics and health supplements.

In 2015, 5,400 city children tested with an elevated blood lead level, 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher, New York’s most recent annual report on lead poisoning showed. More than 800 had levels at least twice that high.

Previously undisclosed data explored by Reuters offers a hyper-local look at neighborhood areas where the city has fallen short of its eradication goal.

“New York’s prevention program is renowned, so the fact it still has pockets like these shows how challenging this issue is on a national scale,” said Patrick MacRoy, a former director of Chicago’s lead poisoning prevention program.

Reuters found:

• A 2004 housing law co-sponsored by Bill de Blasio, now the mayor, targeted scofflaw landlords. But the city isn’t policing two key provisions that require landlords to find and fix hazards, sometimes waiting until children get poisoned before taking action.

• The areas where the most children tested high are in Brooklyn, including neighborhoods with historic brownstones and surging real estate values, where construction and renovation can unleash the toxin. The worst spot – with recent rates nearly triple Flint’s – was in a Hasidic Jewish area with the city’s highest concentration of small children.

• An affluent area near Riverside Park in Manhattan’s Upper West Side has had rates comparable to Flint’s.

• Reporters were able to buy dangerous leaded products in city shops, including children’s jewelry. One item, a cosmetic marketed for use around children’s eyes, tested with levels 4,700 times the U.S. safety standard. It was labeled lead-free.

• Reuters purchased other items subject to New York lead warnings through online giants Amazon and EBay, which later pulled the items from their websites.

• Soil testing in Brooklyn backyards and a park detected lead levels comparable to some sites designated under the federal Superfund toxic-cleanup program.

While exposure rates have dropped citywide – by up to 86 percent since 2005 – the number of children meeting New York’s criteria for lead poisoning, twice the CDC’s elevated threshold, barely budged between 2012 and 2015.

“Unfortunately, nationally and locally, we are beginning to see signs there is a leveling off in what was once a steep downward trend,” said Rebecca Morley, a housing expert who co-authored a recent report calling for more aggressive national lead abatement policies.

In a statement, City Hall spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie said comparisons between New York and Flint are “alarmist and inaccurate,” given the city’s sharp declines in lead poisoning and aggressive prevention efforts.

But Morley, while crediting the city’s progress, said the data show “extreme pockets of poisoning remain.”

New York is just one of hundreds of American communities struggling with poisoning. In a two-year investigation, Reuters has now documented 3,810 census tracts or zip code areas across 34 U.S. states where recent high childhood lead test rates have been double those found in Flint.

There’s no safe level of lead in a child’s blood. Exposure is linked to brain damage, lower IQ, behavioral disorders, and lifelong health impacts.

Six-year-old twins Kaitlyn and Chasity Ellis, who were exposed to lead in a Brooklyn apartment, pose with their mother Barbara Ellis (R) and grandfather Ruden Ellis in a park in Harlem - where the family now lives - in New York City, U.S. September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Schneyer

Six-year-old twins Kaitlyn and Chasity Ellis, who were exposed to lead in a Brooklyn apartment, pose with their mother Barbara Ellis (R) and grandfather Ruden Ellis in a park in Harlem – where the family now lives – in New York City, U.S. September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Schneyer

A QUESTION OF ENFORCEMENT

Seventy percent of New York’s housing stock was built in the 1950s or earlier, when lead was still common in paint. A toddler can be poisoned by swallowing a dime-sized flake of lead paint, or by ingesting paint dust.

“Housing is a main way that young kids get poisoned,” said Deborah Nagin, director of the city’s lead poisoning prevention program. “It’s very important that lead paint hazards, when we identify them, don’t sit around.”

Nagin’s health department division works closely with New York’s Housing and Preservation Department, HPD, whose 400 inspectors are trained to detect lead perils.

A 2004 housing code, Local Law 1, championed by then City Council member de Blasio, gave HPD broad authority to cite landlords for paint hazards and get them fixed quickly. Since then HPD has issued more than 230,000 lead paint violations to landlords.

But its inspectors aren’t able to visit all older housing in a city with more than 2 million tenant-occupied units. And the law’s explicit goal – elimination of poisoning – remains elusive seven years past its 2010 target date.

Among the reasons: There is little or no city enforcement of two provisions of the law, designed to make private landlords responsible for preventing poisoning.

One requires landlords to conduct annual lead paint inspections in pre-1960 housing units where small children live, fix hazards and keep records. The other requires them to “permanently seal or remove” lead paint from spots like windows and door-frames – so-called friction surfaces, where paint often breaks down – before new tenants move in.

Reporters reviewed the past 12 years of HPD violation records and found the agency hasn’t cited a single landlord for failure to conduct the annual inspections. Only one was cited for failure to remediate friction surfaces between tenants, in 2010.

“If the city’s not going to nail a few people for failing to do this, then no one is going to pay attention to these requirements,” said Matthew Chachere, a lawyer with anti-poverty group Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, who helped draft the 2004 law.

Mayor de Blasio declined comment.

Rafael Cestero, a former HPD commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said the measures would be hard to enforce. “There has to be some realism in what we expect a government agency to actually do,” Cestero said. The department focuses on paint violations its own inspectors find, he said, often in response to tenant complaints.

CONEY ISLAND KIDS

In a statement, City Hall called its complaint-based enforcement system “highly effective” at reducing poisoning.

Yet it doesn’t always work, leaving some families to fend for themselves until a child gets poisoned, Reuters found.

In a 116-year-old building in Coney Island, Brooklyn, unit 2R’s grimy walls are marked with “LEAD PAINT” stamps next to two children’s beds, where inspectors recently found the toxin.

HPD records show the cramped apartment has 163 outstanding housing code violations.

During a reporter’s recent visit, the power was out and the building’s common areas were scattered with rodent droppings. In an apartment, a gas kitchen oven was jerry-rigged to provide heat.

Back in 2015, when Natalia Rollins moved here from a homeless shelter, the mother of two felt lucky. A city-sponsored voucher program, CITYFEPS, helped place her in a $1,515-a-month apartment and covered much of the rent.

Rollins, 25, soon grew scared for her baby boys. There was peeling old paint, a ceiling cave-in, roach, rodent and bee infestations, buckling floorboards, a broken window.

“I hated living in shelters, but nobody should have to live like this either,” said Rollins, a daycare worker. “The landlord would just ignore my calls. When you’re on a voucher you’re treated differently.”

Rollins says she reported housing concerns through the city’s 311 hotline dozens of times. Inspectors visited, but didn’t initially test for lead.

Two months ago her son Noah, 2, was diagnosed with lead poisoning. After receiving his test result, the city Health Department quickly swooped in and found the apartment rife with paint hazards.

Noah’s language is developing, but Natalia worries about his acute sensitivity to noises and his pica behavior, a tendency to eat non-food items. Natalia, Noah and older brother Randy, who is autistic, are now staying in a Bronx safe house for lead poisoning victims operated by Montefiore Hospital.

Ervin Johnson, Rollins’ Coney Island landlord, said the apartment was in “excellent condition” when she moved in. “If her kid got exposed to lead, it probably came from somewhere else,” he said.

But the city says most poisoned children are exposed at home, and records show Johnson’s building has been on the citywide list of the 200 “most distressed” multi-unit dwellings since 2007. “This landlord has repeatedly failed their duty to safeguard our youngest New Yorkers,” the city said.

Lapeyrolerie said the city is now pressing Johnson to “immediately” address the building’s violations and working to find Rollins another apartment.

Lapses in public housing have also come to light. For years, the city’s public housing authority, NYCHA, failed to conduct required annual lead inspections in older public housing, an ongoing federal investigation found.

“We can and must do better,” NYCHA spokeswoman Ilana Maier said.

Citywide, the rate of screened children showing a high blood test in 2015 was 1.7 percent, below the CDC’s estimated national average of 2.5 percent.

Yet rates can vary wildly. A tract on the well-to-do Upper West Side of Manhattan – adjacent to Riverside Park between 105th and 109th Streets – had rates similar to Flint’s even in recent years. The area features grand old buildings and multi-million dollar apartments, where renovations could put children at risk if lead safety practices aren’t followed.

WILLIAMSBURG WOES

Decades ago, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was a low-rent and largely industrial area. Today, its spacious lofts and privileged perch across from downtown Manhattan attract the well-heeled.

Working-class residents remain, too, including thousands of Hasidic Jews from the Satmar sect, who have settled in the neighborhood’s southern zone since World War II. With their distinctive dress and traditions, the Hasidim’s orthodox lifestyle strikes a contrast to the hipster glitz encroaching nearby.

Hasidic Williamsburg suffers alarming rates of childhood lead poisoning, ranking as the riskiest spot Reuters found citywide.

Across three southern Williamsburg census tracts, as many as 2,400 children tested at or above the CDC’s current elevated lead threshold between 2005 and 2015. In one, 21 percent of children tested during this period had high lead levels. Rates in the most recent years were lower, but still above Flint’s.

On Lee Avenue, boys wearing black hats and coats stream out of yeshivas, while women shop in kosher markets and kibitz in Yiddish in front of old brownstones, many built around 1900.

“When I saw the numbers I freaked out,” said Rabbi David Niederman, head of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. “The concentration of old housing and the number of children in them are big factors.”

In Hasidic Williamsburg, around 25 percent of the population is age five or younger, compared to about 6 percent citywide.

In recent years, city health workers homed in on the poisoning cluster. UJO and other groups helped health officials conduct outreach, distributing lead awareness pamphlets in Yiddish, urging clinics to boost screening, and holding meetings for residents and landlords.

As recently as 2015, one area tract had a rate of 13 percent, the highest in the city. It’s too early to tell whether rates have since dropped.

DANGERS ON STORE SHELVES

Newly mobile toddlers are the most common lead victims, but school-aged kids and adults are also vulnerable.

Recent testing at the city’s public schools showed more than 80 percent had at least one water outlet with lead levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard of 15 parts per billion. New York public radio station WNYC mapped those results. Faucets that test high are shut off pending repairs, but leaded water lines remain common in New York buildings.

Consumer products are another concern. This year, lead safety advocate Tamara Rubin documented several varieties of the wildly popular fidget spinner toy that contained lead.

And in New York’s popular bodegas, other dangerously leaded products can be found on shelves.

Reporters bought several products that can be used by children or pregnant women from area shops, ordered others from online vendors, and sent 13 items for testing at an accredited laboratory. Six had lead levels exceeding consumer product safety standards.

In Jackson Heights, Queens, a vibrant cauldron of the city’s diverse immigrant populations, scores of small shops sell toy jewelry.

Two items Reuters had tested, a butterfly hairpiece and a glittery earring and beret set, each had lead content above the 100 parts per million U.S. safety standard for toys. Both were Chinese imports. One was labeled “lead-safe.”

The city health department sometimes conducts sweeps, seizing dangerous products or ordering shops to destroy them. It recently found Mexican lead-glazed pottery and issued a public advisory.

But some shopkeepers aren’t aware of the warnings, or ignore them.

In the southern section of Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park area, more than 500 children tested high for lead from 2005 through 2015. Many families in the area emigrated from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In New York, children of South Asian descent are found to have especially high blood lead levels more often than other children. Sometimes, the poisoning can be linked to imported products.

A string of bright blue, red and gold tubes containing eyeliner – known as ‘surma,’ ‘kajal’ or ‘kohl’ – can be found in many Ditmas Park shops. The cosmetic is sometimes applied to children and touted to improve eye health.

Two varieties reporters bought, both marked lead-free, had unsafe lead levels.

The label for Hashmi Surmi Special liquid, made in Pakistan, says it contains “0.00 percent” lead. Lab testing showed 4.7 percent lead, or 4,700 times the Food and Drug Administration safety standard for cosmetics.

The Hashmi brand website says its surma eyeliner should be used by little ones “right from their childhood to prevent stress on sight.”

Manufacturer A.Q. & Co acknowledged the product contains a lead compound, but said it’s safe when “used externally.”

Health departments disagree. Across the United States, several have linked use of surma to childhood poisoning cases.

New York City has warned against using or selling these products, and FDA guidance says they are illegal to import.

When reporters returned to the Bisillah Grocery Store where they bought the Hashmi eyeliner, a shopkeeper said he’d stopped sales months ago, after a customer had an “allergic reaction.” Reminded of a far more recent sale to a reporter, he said, “You must have bought one of the last bottles.”

The Hashmi eyeliner was still available in several other shops nearby.

Other products U.S. health departments have warned about were easy to find online for delivery to New York City doorsteps.

Reuters purchased leaded Indian Ayurvedic medicines from vendors on Ebay and Amazon.

One of them, Ovarin, is touted to improve women’s reproductive health. It was shipped from a vendor in India via Amazon.com Marketplace. “A Boon to the Womanhood,” its online marketing said. Lab testing showed it contains enough lead to potentially harm mother and unborn child when taken at the suggested dosage.

Its maker, Ban Lab, didn’t respond to interview requests.

Amazon.com removed the product from its website after hearing from Reuters that it was subject to health warnings.

Another product, Zandu brand Maha Yograj Guggul, indicated for joint pain and other ailments, was purchased from a vendor in New Jersey via Ebay.com and tested high for lead.

Manufacturer Emami Group acknowledged the product contains lead, as required by Indian regulations for certain Ayurvedic formulas. The product should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision, its packaging says.

Ebay said it would prohibit sale of the item. Amazon and Ebay said they continually monitor products for safety concerns.

OVERHEAD, UNDERFOOT

In Queens, the city subway’s Number 7 train rumbles overhead on an elevated track.

Last year, a painters trade union said it discovered that lead paint has been raining down on bustling Queens neighborhoods from the subway’s century-old structures. A Brooklyn federal judge set a hearing for this December to consider whether to declare a public health emergency.

Poisoning risks also lurk underfoot in some city areas, where past industrial or vehicle emissions, trash incineration, and runoff from buildings with old paint have tainted the soil.

On a late summer evening, reporters conducted soil testing with help from researchers along a path in McCarren Park, a popular family destination in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Columbia University Environmental Sciences graduate student Franziska Landes has been testing soil around the former industrial neighborhood for months. Among the scores of backyards Landes has tested, most have had at least one reading above the EPA’s 400 parts per million lead safety threshold for areas where children play.

Aiming a futuristic-looking XRF analyzer gun into the soil, Landes quickly found one spot, along a jogging path, whose reading was five times that level.

“Wow, that’s a high one,” Landes said. Several other readings on the same path were lower, but still above the EPA threshold.

Nagin, director of New York’s lead-poisoning program, said her department hasn’t usually prioritized soil risks in an urban environment where children’s access to yards is limited. She recently met with Columbia researchers and is taking a deeper look.

Soil researcher Joshua Cheng, a professor at Brooklyn College, said more vigilance is needed. Residents in affected areas should avoid tracking dirt into homes, wash children’s hands often, and place clean topsoil in spots testing high, he said.

“The lead levels found in Brooklyn backyards are often similar to areas where there has been past lead smelting activity,” Cheng said. “They’re comparable to Superfund sites.”

Sarah DuFord, a mother of two, was among the Greenpoint residents who invited reporters into her backyard to test.

One reading was below the EPA threshold, but others were around four times that level.

“This confirms my fears,” she said. Her next step: screening her 2-year-old for lead.

Then and Now – Childhood lead poisoning in New York: http://tmsnrt.rs/2mojaEm

(Additional reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar. Editing by Ronnie Greene)