NEW YORK — The head of New York City's sanitation department will moonlight as its lead-poisoning czar. Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia will oversee efforts across several city agencies to reduce kids' exposure to the toxic metal as the new senior adviser for citywide lead prevention, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office announced Thursday.
Garcia will continue to lead the Department of Sanitation — the largest department of its kind in the world — while she takes on the new role, the mayor's office said.
Her appointment comes amid continued scrutiny of lead poisoning in public housing. Lead exposure among kids in the city has dropped by 90 percent since 2005, de Blasio said, but officials want to drive the rate down to zero through a "singe, citywide strategy."