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Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Grant

Release Date: May 28, 2021

Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Grant

(Hardyston, NJ) The Sussex County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce that Sussex County has been awarded funding from the New Jersey Department of Health through the Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Grant. This grant provides regional funding to Sussex, Hunterdon, Morris and Warren counties. The funding will assist in decreasing the number of children who are exposed to lead sources throughout each county by educating the community about the dangers of lead exposure and providing residents with exposure prevention tools and tips. This grant also allows the Office of Public Health Nursing to monitor increased lead level cases and assist those families in identifying the potential lead source.

Lead exposures often occur in homes built before 1980, before lead-based paints were banned. Here in Sussex County about 65.2% of housing was built before 1980, making lead paint exposure likely (NJSHAD). Lead may also be found in water, food, soil, imported candies and toys, and other items we often come in contact with each day.

The Office of Public Health Nursing tests the lead levels of children residing in Sussex County at its routinely scheduled Baby Wellness Clinics. In Sussex County, each time a child receives a test to monitor the levels of lead in their blood; the results are recorded and reported in a statewide system. Children should be tested for lead levels at both ages one and two.

If a test result comes back with a level higher than five, the Office of Public Health Nursing is notified and a nursing case manager is assigned to reach out to the family. After the nurse contacts the child's family; they will work with them to help them identify possible lead sources in their home and help educate the family on further lead exposure prevention.

A second blood test is done to determine if the child's lead levels are reduced as a result of the source being identified and exposure no longer occurring. If that test results in a number lower that five, the case will be dropped; if the number is higher than five, further remediation is needed. Next, the nursing case manager as well as a representative from Environmental Health will reach out to the family and offer additional services to help determine the lead source in their home. The Environmental Health representative collects materials from the home and tests them to ensure they do not contain high levels of lead. When the source is identified, the County will then assist in removing and correcting the location the lead is found so that it meets the current standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For more information on this program, contact the Sussex County Office of Public Health Nursing at 973-579-0570 and Learn About Lead Safety. Additional information about lead exposure can be found by visiting the New Jersey Department of Health website "Risk Factor for Childhood Lead Exposure".