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To increase awareness of risks for lead exposure, the Burlington County Health Department and Florence Township have teamed up by displaying a lead story board in the Florence Township Police Department.
The lead poisoning prevention story board is interactive and displays information about lead and the dangers of lead in both English and Spanish. The display also has audio messages (in English only) on voice boxes. It will be on display during the month of April and visitors are welcome Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“It’s important that we educate our residents about the dangers of lead poisoning and what they can do to lower their risk. Making small changes in the home to make it safer for children and families is the first step,” said Burlington County Health Department Director Dr. Herb Conaway.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there are approximately 500,000 children with high levels of lead in their bodies. The primary exposure to lead in children in the United States is through lead-based paint, but unknown to many, lead is also in many products, such as makeup, toys, jewelry, zippers, and imported ceramics (plates, bowls, mugs).
The Environmental Protection Agency encourages homeowners to use certified renovation contractors when doing renovations in the home as people, especially children, may swallow the lead dust or paint chips created during renovation, repair and painting jobs. In partnership with Burlington County Health Department, the Florence Township Construction Department is distributing educational packets with tips for safe renovation to all residents taking out construction permits.
Burlington County Health Department, in partnership with Virtua Home Care Community Nursing Health Promotion Services, conducts free walk-in lead screenings for children ages 12 months to 72 months on Mondays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Appointments for other times are also available by calling Virtua at (609) 914-8550.
For questions about lead in the home, call the national hotline 1-800-424-LEAD (5323). Other resources include the Southern Regional Lead and Healthy Homes Coalition at 856-665-6000, the Burlington County Health Department Lead Program at 609-265-5515, and the state of New Jersey Lead Safe program https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/leadsafe.html