New Jersey Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

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Lead Exposure

Lead ExposureThe New Jersey EPHT Network includes data on lead exposure among children and adults.  Lead is a toxic heavy metal, and children are more susceptible to the effects of lead exposure than adults.

Lead can be found in many parts of our environment since it is used in a variety of ways including in paints, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, metal products and some vinyl products, such as mini-blinds.  Lead-based paints for use in housing were banned in 1978 and the use of lead as an additive to gasoline was also banned in the United States.  

What Information Does the EPHT Network Contain About Lead Exposure in New Jersey?

Lead Exposure in Children:

Since 1999, the New Jersey Department of Health’ Child and Adolescent Health Program has collected data on all blood lead screenings of New Jersey children.  Clinical laboratories licensed by the state are required to report these data to the state. 
In cooperation with the Child and Adolescent Health Program, the NJ EPHT Network contains summary information on risk factors for childhood lead exposure (age of housing stock and extent of poverty in communities), childhood lead screening rates, and levels of lead measured in children’s blood.

Lead Exposure in Adults:

Among adults, lead poisoning is primarily a preventable occupational health problem.  Lead exposure in adults can cause anemia, nervous system dysfunction, kidney problems, hypertension, decreased fertility, and miscarriage.  The NJ Occupational Health Surveillance Program maintains information on the incidence and prevalence rates of elevated blood lead levels among New Jersey adults.

Where Can I Get More Information About Childhood Lead Exposure?

If you would like more information about childhood lead exposure and prevention, please contact New Jersey’s Family Health Line at 1-800-328-3838 or visit the web site of the NJDOH Child and Adolescent Health Program. The Child and Adolescent Health Program publishes an Annual Report on Childhood Lead Poisoning in New Jersey

Where Can I Get More Information About Adult Lead Exposure?

Free consultations regarding adult blood lead are available by calling NJDOH at (609) 984-1863; request to speak to staff in the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) project.  Additional information about lead sources, regulations and medical surveillance guidelines is available through the NJDOH Occupational Health Surveillance Program.  Information related to training and certification for lead abatement workers is provided through the NJDOH Indoor Environments Program.

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