News Department

Hunterdon County Health Department awarded grant funds to prevent childhood lead poisoning

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Health Department in partnership with Warren, Sussex, and Morris Counties, is receiving a grant award of $65,050 to provide preventative education, screenings information and treatment options for childhood lead poisoning.

In recent years, there has been an increase in children testing positive for elevated blood lead levels or lead poisoning in Hunterdon County.

“There is no safe level of lead in a person’s blood. Childhood exposure to lead may not show immediately or exhibit obvious symptoms, but it can affect long-term development and learning. Parents should be aware of possible sources of lead in their homes, prevent children from being exposed to those sources, and have their children tested for lead,” Commissioner Shaun Van Doren said.

A simple blood test can detect lead. All children should have their blood tested for lead twice before the age of 6 years old. Parents should speak to their pediatrician about blood lead testing or contact the Hunterdon County Health Department for testing. If tests reveal that a child’s blood contains more than 5 mg/dl, the Hunterdon County Health Department will investigate the source of lead poisoning for the child.

According to the CDC, lead can be found inside and outside the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around the house. However, the most common source of exposure for children is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978.

Children may also become exposed to lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies and from some metal toys or toys painted with lead-based paint. Children are not exposed equally to lead as adults, nor suffer its consequences in the same way. These disparities unduly burden minority families and low-income families and their communities.

Director for the Department of Health Services, Karen DeMarco reminds, “A simple blood test can detect lead and childhood lead poisoning is preventable. Lead Poisoning Prevention is one of the primary programs of the Public Health Nursing and Environmental Health Programs here in the county. Public Health Nurses work closely with the family, while Environmental Health Specialists test surfaces within the home for the presence of lead contaminants. The goal of the Lead Poisoning Prevention program is to identify and eliminate the presence of lead from the home of the poisoned child.”

For more information about childhood lead poisoning prevention, blood lead testing, and safe renovation, visit or call 908- 788-1351.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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