Lead Exposure in New Jersey Decreases, but Persists


Child-and-doctor.jpgNew Jersey has done a good job in recent years at increasing efforts to combat lead exposure. More than 97% of parents make sure their children are tested before age 6, and 99% of those tested are not registering blood lead levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the level considered dangerous.

While these improvements are significant, it is important to note that there is no safe level of lead, and the greatest loss of IQ points occurs below 10 µg/dL. Showing success above 10 µg/dL is somewhat misleading as the state requires action at 5 µg/dL. Last year, over 1,000 New Jersey children had identifiable levels of lead in their blood. 

Much of the exposure is still coming from lead dust primarily from lead paint. This is a particular concern for shore towns who had to rebuild and recover after Hurricane Sandy three years ago. Health experts note a trend in surprising sources of lead exposure including imported candies, folk-medicines and toys.

There is currently a bill in the New Jersey Assembly to provide $10 million to combat lead contamination.

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To learn more about the effects of lead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6KoMAbz1Bw

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