Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Higher lead levels for kids in 11 NJ cities than in Flint

Activists and State Senator Shirley Turner report on kids' lead levels in 11 NJ communities

"Young children in 11 cities and two counties in New Jersey have higher levels of lead in their blood than children in Flint, Michigan, where a water contamination crisis has grabbed national attention."


That's what Michael Symons reported yesterday for Gannett after attending a news conference in Trenton where activists identified the  localities as Irvington, Trenton, Newark, Paterson, Plainfield, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Atlantic City, New Brunswick and Passaic, plus Cumberland and Salem counties.

"There were more than 3,000 new cases in New Jersey of children under 6 with elevated lead levels in 2015, bringing the total to around 225,000 since 2000, said Elyse Pivnick, director of environmental health for Isles Inc. New Jersey’s exposure is linked to lead paint in homes, not water supplies.

“Because of Flint, Michigan, most of the world now knows lead in water can poison children,” Pivnick said. “The deplorable water scandal is an important story, but it is just as tragic and alarming that thousands of children in New Jersey continue to be exposed to lead year after year.”

Lawmakers and advocacy groups have a four-part plan, launched Monday, to get state officials to do more about lead poisoning of children, Symons wrote:

1. Get the attention of a public startled by Flint

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