New Jersey LCV supports S1212, or the “Lead Safe Certificate” Bill
Lead contamination in our water supply has been a front-page issue over the last few years, highlighted by the struggles faced in Flint, MI. Lead poisoning isn’t just an issue that's happening in a far-off place, and New Jersey is not immune to this issue.
In 2016, over 4,800 children in New Jersey were found to have elevated blood lead levels, with over 225,000 children being impacted since 2000.
These children may face serious challenges as a result, including increased risk of kidney and heart disease, brain damage and decreased IQ and increased hyperactivity. Exposure at low levels has been shown to impact IQ, rates of high school graduation and earning potential.
Studies show that the return on investment for lead poisoning prevention is significant: for every $1 spent, there is a return of between $17 and $221.
Data from states that have implemented the Lead Safe Certificate bill, such as Massachusetts, Maryland and Rhode Island, shows that it is very effective in lowering children’s blood lead levels—but only when it’s enforced.
While we support this bill, we have one recommendation to strengthen and clarify this legislation. In Section 1, and thereafter throughout in this bill, we recommend adding language that is inclusive of lead contamination in soil and water, and such contamination should be assessed via soil sampling and first-draw tap sampling.
Not only will this bill strongly repudiate the lackluster actions that have allowed this problem to persist, it showcases our commitment to reducing environmental health injustices and moving New Jersey toward a future of healthy communities. Our collective public health is at risk.
Thank you for your time.