200699 Keep Me Lead Free: A Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in NJ

Monday, November 9, 2009

Robin Ng, BS, CHES , Northern NJ Maternal/Child Health Consortium, Paramus, NJ
Alexis Librizzi, BS , Northern NJ Maternal/Child Health Consortium, Paramus, NJ
New Jersey families are very prone to lead poisoning. With 74% of the homes in New Jersey built before 1978 and 74% of the homes containing older piping contributing to lead contaminated water, it is crucial that families know about the dangers of lead and that lead is still lingering in their environment. The Keep Me Lead Free program provides free education and outreach to 8 counties in Northern NJ. Parents, children, and teachers are offered workshops on lead prevention, and the importance of screening for lead poisoning is stressed. The health educators of the program go to WIC sites, child care centers, elementary schools, and health fairs to educate the community on lead prevention.

During the workshops, prevention methods for lead poisoning are presented. Prevention methods include proper hand washing, good nutrition, proper cleaning methods, and the importance of getting children tested.

Education and outreach through the Keep Me Lead Free program were successful in contributing to the lead poisoning rates decreasing and screening rates increasing. In 2000, the screening rates for children were only 30% in New Jersey, but as of 2006 the rates increased to 46% children screened. Furthermore, in 2000 there were 1,309 children under age 17 with elevated blood lead levels, as opposed to the 615 children with high blood levels in 2006. The lead poisoning rates in New Jersey are improving every year due to the education families and schools are receiving, making them more aware of how to protect children from being poisoned.

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe the Keep Me Lead Free program. 2)List 2 teaching methods used in the lead program. 3)Assess the impact of health education and lead poisoning.

Keywords: Lead, Community Outreach

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am the Program Coordinator for the lead prevention program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.