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Lead Poisoning In Our Children. Northern NJ Maternal/Child Health Consortium Tel: 201-843-7400 www.maternalchildhealth.org Passaic/Bergen Lead Coalition is funded by the NJDHSS to increase awareness about lead poisoning and educate the community on prevention measures.

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lead poisoning in our children

Lead Poisoning In Our Children

Northern NJ Maternal/Child Health Consortium

Tel: 201-843-7400


Passaic/Bergen Lead Coalition

is funded by the NJDHSS to increase awareness

about lead poisoning and educate the community

on prevention measures.


LEAD POISONING is one of the

most common

& preventablepediatric health problems today.


How many children were diagnosed with lead poisoning in 2002?

Source: NJDHSS 2002 Lead Annual Report


Lead: Why a problem?

  • Lead = Poison
  • Widely dispersed in the environment
  • Very small amounts cause problems
  • Young children’s development systems at special risk
  • Lead poisoning is silent; damage occurs before symptoms appear
  • All children regardless of socio-economic status are at risk!

Why are young children at highest risk of lead poisoning?

  • Their absorption of lead is most efficient
  • Their developing systems are especially vulnerable to damage
  • They unintentionally
  • ingest lead-tainted dust
  • by frequent hand-to-mouth
  • activity

I. Health & Social Effects of

Lead Poisoning in Children

  • Hyperactivity
  • Discipline problems
  • Developmental & cognitive delays
  • Decreased intelligence/IQ
  • School failure



II. Health & Social Effects of

Lead Poisoning in Children

  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Societal pathologies
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Decreased stature or growth
  • Decreased hearing acuity



III. Health & Social Effects of

Lead Poisoning in Children


Elevated blood pressure

Kidney problems

Reproductive disorders

Severe exposure: coma, convulsions, death


Sources of Lead:

  • Contaminated dust from

lead-based paint due to home renovations

or in homes that are not well maintained

  • Tap water (from iron pipes)
  • Soil (near traffic corridors & prior fruit orchards)
  • Food stored in lead soldered cans
  • Ceramics, home remedies, cosmetics
  • Occupational/hobby exposures

Whether you own or rent, you need to be aware of what resides inside and outside of your


Top 5 NJ counties by amount

of housing units built before 1950:

Source: NJDHSS 2002 Lead Annual Report


Lead & Real Estate:

Disclosure Requirements

  • Owners of pre-1978 properties must:
  • Disclose known lead hazards to renters/buyers
  • Permit renter/buyer to do lead testing
  • Provide EPA/CPSC pamphlet on lead hazards

Temporary ways to

reduce lead exposure:

  • Dust control (damp dust and wet-mop)
  • Coat hazardous surfaces
  • Wash items children put in mouth
  • Use duct tape to remove paint chips
  • NEVER sand, scrape or burn old paint!
  • Provide children with regular meals and a diet high in iron & calcium, low in fat
  • Wash hands regularly, especially after play and before eating
  • Run tap water (cold) for 1 minute before use

Permanent measures to eliminate lead exposure:

  • Complete Abatement(expensive) =
  • May not be necessary to stop immediate exposure
  • Best means to prevent future poisoning
  • Measures include:
    • Component replacement (windows, moldings)
    • Paint removal (certified abatement workers)
    • Enclosure (covering walls with drywall)
lead based paint remodeling

Lead-Based Paint & Remodeling:

Remodelers – keep accurate records

Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Education (Lead PRE) Rule – June 1999

Pre-1978 housing

Contractors disturbing more than 2 square feet of lead paint

Distribution of EPA pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home


Lead Poisoning

is a serious problem, especially for kids…

How much lead-based paint does it take to poison a toddler?

This small amount of lead-based paint in the body of a toddler is

considered dangerous by health authorities.

To protect kids against lead poisoning:

·Have children under 6 years old tested for lead, especially

those living in homes built before 1978.

·Don’t scrape or sand paint in pre-1978 homes.

·Always wash hands before handling food & eating.

Only this much!

nj universal childhood lead screening law public law 1995 chapter 328

NJ Universal Childhood Lead Screening Law (Public Law 1995 Chapter 328)

Requires that all children receive

2 blood lead screenings between

birth & 6 years old and are monitored regularly in accordance with

screening results.


Why did NJ create the

Lead Screening Law?

To increase primary prevention

There are no symptoms of lead poisoning

To avoid future complicated medical management problems

To prevent long durations of lead exposure, which can cause irreparable damage

To save medical and special education costs

To save children’s lives!


What the law requires of pediatricians:

1) Screen every child twice before age 6 regardless of risk

2) Assess child’s risk annually

3) Report to & educate parents

4) Follow-up as necessary


Annual Lead Risk Assessment:

1. Live in or regularly visit house built pre-1960 with peeling/chipping paint?

2. Live in or regularly visit house built pre-1960 with recent, ongoing or planned renovations?

3. Live with an adult whose job or hobby involves exposure to lead?

4. Have a BLL above 10 ug/dl when last tested?

A “Yes” or “I don’t know” answer to any of these questions indicates “High Risk” status.


Services provided by

local health departments:

  • Home/environmental investigations
  • Source remediation
  • Limited lead screening
  • Home visits by public health nurses
  • Lead information & education materials
  • Social service resource information
key take home messages

Key “Take Home” Messages:

Low levels of lead cause serious harm

Lead poisoning = no symptoms

Young children = highest risk

Old homes need to be properly maintained

Pediatricians are required to assess and screen every child

Minimize lead exposure as needed

Be aware of where lead “hides” in our lives

resources for additional information

Resources for additional information:

NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/chshome.htm

NJ Physician Lead Advisory Committee

Antonia Ty, MD, Chair, Tel: 201-569-0410

NJ CitizenAction: www.njcitizenaction.org

Email: john@njcitizenaction.org, Tel: 732-246-4772

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jerseyhttp://www3.umdnj.edu/leadweb/