Lead Testing in Charter Schools

“In consultation with the Health Department and the School District, L&I will put such a process in place,” she said.

Yet while the underlying legislation makes lead testing a prerequisite for school building occupancy, Guss could not say what penalty schools would face for skipping tests.


By Ryan Briggs and Avi Wolfman-Arent

Philadelphia’s Opioid Crisis Compared to Pittsburgh

“We are having a targeted strategy in the same way that Allegheny County has,” said Thomas Farley, Philadelphia’s health commissioner, adding that his colleagues pay more attention to the nation’s biggest cities than to Pittsburgh.

“But we, for decades, have become this big heroin market. We’re a distribution site for a very broad area. That drug availability is going to make it harder for us.”


By Aubrey Whelan

New Vaping Restrictions Bill Passed Council


Despite these national efforts, Bettigole said, the local restrictions for minors are still important because EVALI is just a symptom of a broader problem: teenage nicotine addiction.

“Fortunately, it looks like the CDC has identified the specific culprit in this outbreak,” she said. “But we have to recognize that as long as we have millions of our teens continuing to breathe in unknown substances, there will be another outbreak, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent here in Philadelphia.”


By Nina Feldman


The bill bans sales of flavored and high-nicotine e-cigarettes at stores that teens and children are allowed to enter. Kenney, who introduced the measure with Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, is expected to sign the legislation by the end of the year.

“Philadelphia is taking the lead in protecting teens from dangerous and unregulated vaping products,” Farley said in a statement.


By Sarah Gantz

Drop in Life Expectancy

“Every day, too many young people in Philadelphia and across the nation are dying early from preventable causes,” said Raynard Washington, chief epidemiologist for the city Department of Public Health. “Substance use, gun violence, and smoking- and obesity-related chronic illnesses are the primary causes of premature death among Philadelphians.”


By Rita Giordano


Youth Vaccinations in School District

City health centers do allow minors as young as 14 to consent for vaccines, said James Garrow, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The school nurses, however, said that students have already been turned away from health centers on the “field trips.”


By Kristen Graham

Drexel Mumps Cases

Philadelphia Department of Public Health spokesman James Garrow said the department was working closely with Drexel officials as they monitor the situation.

“We’re in constant communication with them. We think that Drexel has a pretty good handle on this right now,” Garrow said.


By Ayana Jones