TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Several New Jersey cities and two counties have reported higher levels of lead poisoning in young children’s blood compare to children in Flint, Michigan.
According to Elyse Pivnick, of the New Jersey-based community development group Isles, children in Jersey City, Newark, Elizabeth, Irvington, Trenton, Paterson, Plainfield, Atlantic City, New Brunswick and Passaic are affected, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported. Salem and Cumberland counties are also affected.
“These numbers, by the way, are not new,” Pivnick said. “These are numbers that are year after year.”
The numbers are coming to light on the heels of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has made headlines across the country.
The elevated lead levels in children often correlate to lower-income areas, where peeling lead paint in homes and apartments, Pivnick said. Pivnick says it only takes a tiny amount of lead to cause developmental problems.
“Here’s the image for you — the amount of lead dust that could substitute for sugar in a restaurant sugar packet, sprinkled on a floor,” Pivnick said.
The state of New Jersey has a fund designated to help combat lead poisoning, but Gov. Chris Christie pocket-vetoed a bill that would add an additional $10 million to the fund last month.
Pivnick and some lawmakers are calling to restore those cuts.