ASSEMBLY HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 3411

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED: †MAY 12, 2016

 

†††† The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 3411.

††††† This bill amends the State statutes related to childhood lead poisoning to require that Department of Health (DOH) regulations regarding testing for, and responses to, elevated blood lead levels in children are to be consistent with the most recent recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

††††† In 2012, the CDC revised its benchmark for when elevated blood lead levels in children should trigger responsive action, lowering the action level from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to five micrograms per deciliter.† This bill requires DOH to revise its regulations to make them consistent with the current CDC benchmark, and further requires DOH, within 30 days after the billís date of enactment and on at least a biennial basis thereafter, to review and revise its rules and regulations to ensure that they comport with the latest CDC guidance.

††††† The bill requires DOH to promulgate regulations concerning the responsive action to be taken when a childís blood lead level tests above the CDC benchmark, including performing environmental follow-up, providing notice to the childís family, performing additional screening of family members, providing case management services, and providing medical treatment, such as chelation therapy.

††††† The bill further specifies that the current DOH public information campaign on lead screening is to: (1) highlight the importance of lead screening and encourage parents to have their children screened for lead poisoning at regular intervals, consistent with the age-based timeframes established by DOH; and (2) provide for the widespread dissemination of information to parents and health care providers on the dangers of lead poisoning, the factors that contribute to lead poisoning, the recommended ages at which children should be tested for lead poisoning, and the elevated blood lead levels that will necessitate responsive action.† The bill additionally provides that DOH will be required to revise and reissue the information disseminated through the public information campaign within 30 days of making revisions to its blood lead regulations to remain consistent with current federal recommendations.

††††† As reported by the committee, this bill is identical to Senate Bill No. 1830, which the committee also reported on this date.