NJ Getting New Lead Screening Standards

Feb 7, 2017

Ann Vardeman

Governor Christie has signed legislation requiring New Jersey regulations on elevated lead levels in children's blood to be consistent with federal guidelines.

Ann Vardeman with New Jersey Citizen Action says that's a good move.

"This is what the science has shown is that smaller levels of lead can caused damage in children than what was previously thought. Previous levels that New Jersey had the actionable level was actually long after damage was being caused in children." 

Staci Berger is president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. She says the lower threshold will get more children into treatment quicker, and that will add to health care costs.

“There really ought not to be a price tag on making sure that children are not poisoned. Whatever it costs New Jersey needs to do it. If we can find $300 million to revamp the Statehouse, we should be able to find the same amount of money to make sure are kids aren’t poisoned for life.”

Advocates want the state to spend more to remediate lead-paint hazards in older homes to prevent more children from being exposed to lead.