Follow Us:

Energy & Environment

  • Article
  • Comments

Lost in Cyberspace: New Jersey’s Lead-Poisoning Websites

All too frequently, clicking on one of the state’s lead-safety sites triggers a helpful message like ‘This page does not exist’

lead abatement

The Internet seems like the perfect place to research all facets of lead poisoning, but trying to find up-to-date information or locate lead-safe housing on some of New Jersey’s websites is frustrating and at times futile.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to dig up outdated data and waste time clicking on dead links.

Here are a few examples of problematic sites:

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

The state Department of Health’s website says “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines lead poisoning in children as a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter … or above.”

But the CDC dropped its 10 microgram “level of concern” in 2012 in favor of a 5 microgram “reference level.” That level is used to “identify children who have been exposed to lead and who require case management,” according to the CDC website.

Several New Jersey flyers -- for http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/newborn/documents/poster_healthfair.pdf health fairs and other public education events, for schools to distribute parents, and for health departments to distribute to residents of multi-unit buildings – still refer to the CDC-abandoned 10 microgram “level of concern.”

New Jersey Online Lead Safe Housing Registry Attempting to access a map on this state website triggers the following message: “This webpage is not available.”

www.leadsafenj.org

Trying to reach this website to get information on lead inspections and a list of state-certified lead-evaluation contractors leads to this message: “This Account has been suspended.” Nonetheless, the state Department of Community Affairs has a website with links to lists of certified lead evaluation and lead abatement contractors.

Lead Safe New Jersey Program

Clicking on the link leads to this message: “The page you have requested cannot be displayed because it does not exist, has been moved, or the server has been instructed not to let you view it.”

Todd B. Bates, a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service, is a freelance environmental, health and science writer and an investigative reporter. He was a staff reporter for New Jersey newspapers for nearly 35 years. His most recent assignment was covering the environment and severe weather as a member of the Investigations Team at the Asbury Park Press.

Sponsors
Corporate Supporters
Most Popular Stories
«
»