Bill to Give New Jersey's Lead Hazard Fund $10 Million


This past year 3,000 children in New Jersey under the age of six had elevated blood lead levels: 225,000 children since 2000.  Lawmakers have responded by pushing a bill that would give the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund $10 million.

The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund was often raided to help balance the budget with $50 million being taken from the fund since 2004. Assemblyman and physician, Herb Conway Jr., said,  "These changes to the child's brain (from lead poisoning) are permanent. You can't make it up and these monies that have been taken from this fund are really consigning children and (the) adults they become to less attainment of skills that they otherwise might. It is a tragedy. It's preventable. Something has to be done about this."

The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund was designed to provide low-interest loans and grants to the owners of rent controlled apartments, money to help relocate families with lead-poisoned children due to housing, and a lead-safe housing registry which does exist but is not functional. While New Jersey vowed to get rid of lead poisoning by 2010 and has not, this bill is a step in the right direction of getting New Jersey's lead prevention program back on track. 

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