Children Need Screening Tests for Lead at Ages One and Two – International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week celebrated October 20-26

Children Need Screening Tests for Lead at Ages One and Two
International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week celebrated October 20-26

Brewster, NY—Lead is an environmental toxin and exposed children face serious health risks with lifelong impact. Most lead poisoning cases in children result from ingesting or inhaling dust or chips in old homes built before 1978. In Putnam County approximately 30% of homes fall into this category. Preventing exposure to paint products and others containing lead, as well as early identification and intervention, are all crucial efforts to prevent and reduce lead poisoning. Children must be screened at age one and then again at two. International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, celebrated annually each October, helps raise awareness of this continuing problem and the appropriate precautions that should be taken.

“Lead poisoning has very serious consequences for young children because their brains are undergoing rapid development,” explains Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health for Putnam County, “and these consequences can affect a child’s growth, behavior and ability to learn and are completely preventable. That is why NYS Public Health Law requires children have their blood lead levels (BLL) tested at age one, and again at two, by healthcare providers. The PCDOH can also assist in getting these screenings done.”

Young children learning to crawl spend a lot of time on the floor and put things in their mouth. Frequent washing of hands, face, toys, bottles and pacifiers is very important. A foundation of good nutrition and eating foods high in calcium, iron and vitamin C in particular, can limit the impact if lead is ingested or inhaled.

“Lead can also harm babies before they are even born, if the pregnant mother is exposed,” continues Dr. Beals, who had a private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for more than 20 years before taking up public service.

Lead dust is often invisible and generated during remodeling or renovation, when old paint is scraped or sanded, but can be present at other times as well, settling on windowsills, floors and toys. Most children with lead poisoning do not look or feel sick until much later in the course of the illness. Nonetheless, damage may be occurring. The only way to know is to have a blood lead test. Reducing lead exposure however should be more routine. Tips include:

 Assume any home built before 1978 contains lead paint. Keep all painted surfaces in good condition. Renters living in homes built before 1978 should ask landlords to safely repair any peeling paint. If the landlord is not responsive, local building inspectors or town clerks may be able to assist.

 Take the proper precautions before repairing peeling paint or performing home renovations. Pregnant women, babies and children should avoid all peeling and chipped paint. Call the Health Department for information on how to paint and repair safely. Safe work practices for renovations are key to preventing contamination in a home.

 Avoid cooking, storing or serving food in leaded glass, crystal and pewter and painted china or pottery from Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.

 Individuals with jobs or hobbies with lead exposure should shower and change clothes and shoes before going home. Work clothes should be washed separately from other clothes.


A list of children’s products that contain lead is available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at or by calling 800-638-2772.  For more information on how to prevent childhood lead poisoning, call the Putnam County Department of Health at 845- 808-1390 or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at:

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health is to improve and protect the health of our community. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.


MEMORANDUM: Service Arrangements for Bob McMahon


FROM:                       MaryEllen Odell
TO:                              All Putnam County Employees
RE:                              Service Arrangements for Bob McMahon
DATE:                        October 15, 2013

It is with deep regret that Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announces the passing of former Commissioner Robert McMahon. Bob, a Lake Carmel resident, passed away on Saturday, October 12. He was 67.

“Bob McMahon was a true gentleman. He was far more than just a colleague, he was my dear friend. It was an honor for me to have known Bob and to work with him. I will miss him greatly as I know many people in the region will,” said Odell. “I’m sure everyone in Putnam offers their condolences to Donna and the family. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with them during this most difficult and sorrowful time.” 

Bob was a retired Lieutenant who served 28 years with the FDNY. Prior to that, Bob served in the U.S. Navy, was a Commander in the Naval Reserve, an officer in the Kent Police Department, and a State Corrections Officer. In addition, Bob was a registered nurse, a former chief and life member of the Lake Carmel Fire Department, a NYS and FEMA certified training instructor and a member of the Board of Directors for Putnam Hospital Center.

Bob served as Deputy Fire Coordinator from July 1990 to January 1997 when he was appointed Fire Coordinator. He served in that position through December 1999 and in January 2000, he was appointed as Commissioner of Emergency Services. He held that position until he retired in August of 2012. Under Bob’s leadership, the emergency services in Putnam were greatly enhanced, evolving into today’s state-of-the-art Bureau of Emergency Services.

Last February, the County’s 911 Communications Center was renamed The Robert McMahon Emergency 911 Communications Center in his honor.

Bob is survived by his wife, Donna, their three sons, Robert, Brian (Kelly) and Brendan and their four grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Timothy, Meaghan and Brendan.

Calling hours will be held today Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training and Operations Building – TOPS, on the Donald B. Smith Sr. Government Center, 110 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the St. James the Apostle Church, Gleneida Ave, Carmel, NY 10512. Internment will follow at the Raymond Hill Cemetery on Route 52 in Carmel.

Following the internment there will be a gathering at the Lake Carmel Fire House, Route 52 Carmel NY. All are welcome.

Donations in Bob’s name may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10065.

Putnam’s Bob McMahon remembered as Emergency Services Pioneer

News 12 of Westchester: “Officials worried about recent heroin overdoses”

(News 12 of Westchester)

MAHOPAC – Four young people have died over the past few weeks from heroin overdoses, prompting concern from law enforcement officials in northern Westchester.

Local drug enforcement officials in Westchester and Putnam counties say the recent overdoses could be a reoccurrence of those that plagued the region nine months ago.

A meeting was held Wednesday evening in hopes of educating the community on how residents can put a plan together to help their loved ones fight addiction

One father who attended the forum says the only way to fight drugs like heroin is with community teamwork.


Town Of Kent Sewer District Project Ground Breaking Ceremony

Town Of Kent Sewer District Project Ground Breaking Ceremony September 9, 2013 10:00 am

Adopted 2014 Budget


Here is a direct link to the Adopted 2014 budget.

Please click the button below to view this document.

Budget 2014
2014 Adopted Budget File

2014 Putnam County Budget Presentation


On October 2nd 2013, County Executive MaryEllen Odell gave her 2014 budget presentation.

Vision: To provide a transparent, effective and honest local government dedicated to meeting the needs of its citizens





Putnam Golf Course 2013 Update from the Audit and Administration Committee Meeting in September


Here is a graphical update of the current works at the Putnam Golf Course from the Audit and Administration Committee meeting on September 24th 2013

Click the button below to view the PDF Slides.

[button link=”” color=”orange” text=”light” window=”yes”]2013 Putnam Golf Course Update[/button]

A note from your County Executive MaryEllen Odell

Microsoft Word - Document14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Health Department Schedules Three Flu Clinics; First Set for September 16

1 Geneva Road, Brewster, New York 10509


Date: September 5, 2013

Contact: Barbara Ilardi, Public Information Officer, 845-808-1390

Health Department Schedules Three Flu Clinics; First Set for September 16

Brewster, NY—Skilled and experienced nurses at the Putnam County Department of Health are ready to administer countless flu vaccinations this season at 3 fall flu clinics. Getting vaccinated as early as possible has advantages since it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection. The first flu vaccination clinic is Monday, September 16 from 2 to 6:30 pm at the Carmel Fire Department, Route 52 and Vink Drive in Carmel. A second clinic will be held at the Garrison Fire Department, 1616 Route 9, on Wednesday, October 9 from 2 to 6:30pm; a third is scheduled at the Carmel Fire Department on Monday, October 21, again from 2 to 6:30pm.

The clinic is open to all Putnam County residents 18 years of age and older. The fee for flu vaccine is $25 for residents under 60 years of age. Those 60 years and older, or with a Medicare card, can receive the vaccine free of charge. High-dose flu vaccine is being offered for seniors, aged 65 years and older (as studies show this vaccine is more effective for this population). Pneumonia vaccine will also be available free for residents 65 years and older. Younger residents, who are smokers or have a history of asthma, are at risk for pneumonia and should be vaccinated, will be charged a $75 fee. Proof of residency (driver’s license) is required.

Appointments are not necessary, but a signed consent form is required. Forms are available online at the Putnam County website. In order to streamline the onsite process, people are encouraged to download the forms, complete them and bring them to the clinic. Forms will also be available at the clinic if needed.

Flu vaccination will also be offered by the Health Department in all school districts this fall for students and staff. Check your school calendar or the school nurse for details. The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, made up of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.