Despite the fact that elevated levels of highly toxic lead were found in more than 3,100 young children in New Jersey last year, Governor Christie has raided New Jersey’s Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund every year of his administration in order to balance the budget. And this has had devastating consequences. According to newly released data by Trenton-based Isles, Inc, in 2014 11 New Jersey municipalities, including Newark, Jersey City, and Trenton were found to have a higher percentage of children affected by lead poisoning, as compared to Flint, Michigan, where lead in the drinking water has become a national story.
There is no safe level of lead in children. And without funding for lead poisoning prevention and abatement, thousands more of New Jersey’s children, especially in low-income and minority communities, will continue to suffer permanent damage. Governor Christie will announce his 2017 spending plan on February 16, and we need to ensure that lead poisoning prevention is included in his budget.
That’s why the New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund has joined with other advocacy, community, and environmental organizations to launch the #LeadFreeKidsNJ campaign. You can check out some of the press coverage of our campaign launch here. As part of the campaign, we are educating policymakers and the public on the need for Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund.
Contact Ann Vardeman, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Despite being entirely preventable, lead poisoning has devastating consequences for the children and communities affected. New Jersey can and will do better than this.