Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause brain damage and other serious health effects. Lead poisoning occurs when lead is ingested or breathed in.
Lead is most commonly found in the dust, paint, water, and soil of homes built before 1978. Lead can also be found in children's costume jewelry, food, dietary and herbal products, and even some candies made outside of the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests children in at least 4 million households are being exposed to high levels of lead. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms and frequently goes unrecognized.
If you have an immediate concern about lead poisoning, call NJ Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 to speak with a poison control specialist or visit their website to start a live chat. Find local resources related to lead testing and remediation programs.
Lead Testing for Homeowners
The Lead and Healthy Homes program provides free do-it-yourself testing kits to identify lead dust. Call 888-722-2903 to order a testing kit.
Lead Assistance Programs
State Lead-Safe Home Remediation Program
This program identifies and remediates lead-based paint hazards through interim controls to prevent elevated blood lead levels in children and pregnant women.
HUD Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program
This program identifies and remediates lead-based paint hazards through lead abatement to address those units which have children under the age of six with elevated blood lead levels. For more information and eligibility requirements, call 888-712-5077 or visit their website.
Local Events and Programs
Atlantic, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties
The Lead-Safe Home Remediation Pilot Grant Program provides funding to qualifying residents in Atlantic, Monmouth & Ocean Counties. Funding can be used for preliminary testing of home, lead inspection/risk assessment and remediation via interim controls. Learn more about this program.
Cape May County
The Cape May County Health Department responds to childhood lead poisonings. Whenever a dwelling has lead, notification is given to the responsible party to abate the condition. Follow up visits are conducted with the potential for legal action if abatement has not been completed. Learn more
Newark's Lead Service Line Replacement Program
Newark’s water is lead free when it leaves the city’s water treatment plants and travels through the water mains in the streets. However, when it travels through the water service pipes that connect from the water main on the street to the water taps in homes, it comes in contact with lead materials in the water service line and the residential plumbing. The City of Newark is implementing several city-wide programs to reduce or eliminate lead concentrations at the customer’s tap. Learn more about what is being done.
Home Remediation Program
Puertorriquenos Associados for Community Organizations and Hudson County are partnering together to provide Hudson County residents with lead-safe paint repairs of residential units built prior to 1978. Learn more about this program and eligibility requirements.
Middlesex County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) provides lead screenings for children aged nine months to six years, case management for children who have elevated blood levels, risk assessors, and more. Learn more about CLPPP.
The Somerset County Department of Health provides nursing and environmental case management for children who are identified as having elevated blood lead levels. Learn more.