DCA, DHS, LPS, DHSS, DCF and Public Advocate Kick Off Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Announce Initiatives to Detect and Stop Lead Poisoning in New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Heather Howard, Public Advocate Ronald Chen, Division of Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman, and representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Children & Families (DFS) joined Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Joseph Doria today for the kickoff of Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (CLPP) Week.  The week is dedicated to highlighting the issue of childhood lead poisoning and ways in which it can be prevented.

“There is a coordinated statewide effort to combat this problem,” said Commissioner Doria.  “Commissioners Velez (DHS), Howard and Ricketts (DFS), the Public Advocate, the Attorney General and I have all worked tirelessly to ensure that our children are made safe from the dangers of lead.  Additionally, it is comforting to know we have someone like Senator Rice advocating on this issue in the legislature.”

The various departments discussed actions and initiatives they have taken to prevent lead poisoning and assist those who have fallen victim to it.  DCA announced that $900,000 in funds will be made available to local health departments through the Department’s Lead Identification & Field Testing Program.  The funding will help increase the capacity of local health departments to test residential dwellings occupied by children with elevated blood lead levels through the purchase of lead paint analyzers.  It will also provide funds to two regional health departments to purchase toy analyzers.  Request for proposals can be made through DCA’s online SAGE program beginning this week.

Additionally, DCA announced that it will be providing $100,000 to the Division of Consumer Affairs through the Lead Identification and Field Testing Program.  The funds will increase the Division's capacity to test consumer products for hazardous levels of lead.  The DCA will also be sending out nutritional posters to over 6,000 child care providers.  The posters stress the importance of frequent hand washing and eating nutritious foods to help prevent lead poisoning.  Also, advertisements highlighting where people can obtain information on lead poisoning will be placed on NJ Transit buses and at bus stops across the state.

For additional information on lead safety and prevention, please log-on to www.leadsafenj.org or call 1-877-DCA-LEAD.