Lead Screening

Lead poisoning is a serious health problem

When should children get tested for lead?

Every child should be tested at 12 months of age and again at 24 months. Some children with higher risk for lead exposure may need to be tested earlier (as early as 3 months of age) and more often until the age of 6. Children 3 to 6 years of age who have never been tested for lead should be tested immediately. Any time your child is exposed to lead, talk to your child’s health care provider about the need for testing.

Where do I get a blood test for lead exposure?

Lead screening is a covered benefit. Talk with your child’s health care provider about a simple blood lead test.

What happens if my child has an elevated blood lead level?

If too much lead is found, there are things that can be done to bring his/her levels to normal. Our Lead Case Management Program can help. Through this free benefit, you and your family will have access to a registered nurse who will help to coordinate care with your child’s health care provider and your local health department. Your nurse will help you schedule testing appointments, provide you with lead education and prevention tips, and link you and your family to valuable community resources. Call us at 1-888-232-3596 (TTY: 711) to enroll.

WHY ARE PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT RISK? Pregnant women can pass lead to an unborn baby. Lead accumulates in the body, and over time it gets stored in the bones and can be released to the bones of the fetus. Lead can also cross the placental barrier exposing the fetus to lead. Young children and infants are especially at risk for lead poisoning because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, exposure to lead in drinking may cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

WHERE DO I GET A BLOOD TEST FOR LEAD EXPOSURE?

Contact your doctor or local health care provider about a blood test for lead exposure or contact the Newark Department of Health & Community Wellness at 1-800-734-7083 for more information on how to get tested.

GET YOUR WATER TESTED

Members can contact  the City of Newark Department of Water & Sewer Utilities at (973) 733-6303 or by email at waterandsewer@ci.newark.nj.us to find out if your home has been affected and how to get your water tested for lead and your service line inspected for free.

Unsure if your eligible? Visit the City of Newark website to check your address. Contact the Water & Sewer Department at 973-733-6303 or 973-733-6370 or waterandsewer@ci.newark.nj.us for more information.

Beginning October 8th, affected households with pregnant women and families with children under six years of age can pick up two (2) cases of bottled water every two (2) weeks Monday through Friday at the Newark Health Department WIC Program and the Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center.

At the Newark WIC Program at the Department of Health and Community Wellness, located on 110 William Street, water will be available Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Shani Baraka Center, located at 300 Clinton Avenue, water will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PUR water filters and replacement cartridges will be available at the following three recreation centers:

  • St. Peter’s Recreation Center, 378 Lyons Avenue
  • Boylan Street Recreation Center, 916 South Orange Avenue
  • Vince Lombardi Center of Hope, 201 Bloomfield Avenue

The hours of operation are as follows: Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents should be advised the recreation centers will be back to their regular hours next week and will be closed on Mondays.

How can lead poisoning hurt my child?

Lead poisoning can cause the following:

  • Slow learning and development.
  • Damage to the brain, kidney and liver.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Trouble paying attention or sitting still.
  • Anger issues and trouble getting along with others.
  • Headaches and stomach aches.
  • Lower birth weight.
  • Even death.

How can I help stop my child from getting lead poisoning?

  • Don’t buy toy metal jewelry for your child because lead can be found in painted toys and toy jewelry.
  • Remove recalled toys from children. Stay up-to-date on recalls by visiting Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at www.cpsc.gov.
  • Regularly clean floors and other surfaces with a mop, sponge or vacuum. Use warm water and an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water before eating and after playing.
  • Make sure children eat a small healthy meal four to six times a day. Serve foods that have calcium, iron and vitamin C.
  • Use cold water for drinking, making baby formula, and cooking.
  • Shower and change your clothes before coming home if you work in a place that can produce lead dust or dirt.
  • Keep your work clothes separate from your family’s clothes.
  • Wash your child’s toys often.
  • Take off shoes when entering the house.
  • Lead is sometimes in candies and candy wrappers imported from other countries or traditional medicines. Avoid eating candies imported from other countries.
  • Talk to the landlord or local health department about getting the building tested for lead-based paint if you live in or regularly visit a building built before 1978.
  • Renovate safely. Learn how to safely remove paint that is made with lead. Visit www.epa.gov/lead for more information.
  • Check the Center for Disease Control’s website for toys that may be unsafe because of lead recalls: cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/sources.htm.

Questions?

Call Aetna Better Health of New Jersey Member Services at 1-855-232-3596 (TTY: 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More information is available at the State of New Jersey’s Department of Health website: http://www.state.nj.us/health/childhoodlead/ 

Newark Reference bottle distribution