New Jersey recently announced that it will make $10 million available to non-profits in an effort to curb lead contamination in the state.
The fund is being released to eight non-profits who are part of a federally approved program to remove lead-based paints in older homes, and provide shelter for low to middle income residents.
During the pilot program, the initiative will specifically focus on households with young children and pregnant women. According to estimates, the fund will cover more than 500 homes.
State officials said the initiative is its response to the issue of lead poisoning, which became national news earlier in the year after residents of Flint, Michigan reported widespread ill-effects due to the contamination of their water source. Exposure to lead can disrupt normal development of the brain and central nervous system in children.
Public outrage over the issue has prompted Gov. Chris Christie to sign a law that required all 3,000 schools in the state to adopt lead testing protocols starting September. Christie has also ordered the state’s lead screening requirements to comply with federal standards. New Jersey officials reported that they have already spent $30 million in lead protection programs over the last five years. Figures reflect a decline in lead poisoning in the state as a result of the effort.
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