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CDC 24/7 - Saving Lives - New Jersey's Success

Helping to reduce the number of children that are exposed to lead

Toddler playing with toys

What is the problem?

Childhood lead poisoning is a problem in New Jersey, mainly because of exposure to lead-based paint. Before 1950, indoor paint had high levels of lead. In New Jersey, about 30% of housing was built before 1950. In several counties, 40–50% of the housing was built before 1950. These homes pose the highest risks for exposure to lead-based paints.

What did Tracking do?

Through a partnership with the New Jersey Tracking Network, the New Jersey Child and Adolescent Health Program now conducts more sophisticated data analyses than were previously available. Geocoding and mapping of childhood lead datasets has become routine. Childhood lead poisoning rates are now available by county, municipality, year of birth, and calendar year of lead testing. This has helped public health officials target resources where they are most needed.

Improved public health

The number of New Jersey children under age 17 who have been reported with childhood lead poisoning (greater or equal to 10 ug/dL) has decreased from 4,048 in 2005 to 1,358 in 2010. This is a 66% decrease. In the future, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) will begin to look at the distribution of blood lead levels below 10 ug/dL. This will help to continue the decrease in lead exposure among New Jersey's children.