The dangers of lead exposure in children are long known: It can affect learning, memory, behavior and overall health. Isles, a Trenton-based community development and environmental organization, is highlighting the issue and the fact that most cases come not from lead in water but from exposure to lead dust in homes — “from cracked, chipped or deteriorated paint.” It notes that New Jersey registers more than 4,800 new cases of lead poisoning in children annually. Of especial concern amid a new wave of COVID-19 infections, with children spending more time in their homes than ever, is that cases of lead poisoning are rising.
“…for decades, thousands of apartments and homes in NJ have remained in poor condition, poisoning a new group of children each and every year,” a press release from Isles on Monday said. It’s urging residents to get behind a bill in the Legislature that would require a lead inspection for all rental properties in New Jersey and for landlords to have an updated “Lead Safe Certificate” at rental turnover. In addition, it would mandate buyers of homes built before 1978 to test for lead hazards at the point of sale.