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  • NJ A3411
  • Requires DOH regulations regarding elevated blood lead levels in children, and appropriate responses thereto, to be consistent with latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would amend the State statutes related to childhood lead poisoning, in order to clarify that the Department of Health (DOH) regulations regarding elevated blood lead levels and the appropriate responses thereto, are to be consistent with the most recent recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC previously recommended that responsive action be taken to address childhood lead poisoning in those cases where a lead screening test showed an elevated blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter or more - designated as a blood lead "level of concern." In late 2010, however, the CDC's Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP) formed a working group to evaluate new approaches and strategies for defining elevated blood lead levels among children, and to recommend how best to replace the term "level of concern" in response to the accumulation of scientific evidence showing the adverse effects of blood lead levels that are less than 10 micrograms per deciliter. In its final report, issued in 2012, the working group concluded, based on existing scientific evidence, that the term "level of concern" should be eliminated from all future CDC policies, guidance documents, and other publications, and that the recommendations as to elevated blood lead levels, which were based on that "level of concern," should be updated to reflect current data showing that there is no safe blood lead level in children. In particular, the working group recommended that the CDC adopt a lower benchmark for responsive action - an elevated blood lead level of only five micrograms per deciliter - which is based on the 97.5th percentile of children. The working group also recommended that the CDC take action, every four years, to update this recommended action level, as appropriate, based on the most recent data available. Although the CDC has concurred with the conclusions of the working group, in this regard, and has updated its own agency recommendations on children's blood lead levels to incorporate the recommendations of the working group, the DOH has not similarly revised its regulations to this effect, and it continues to determine the necessity for responsive action based on the outdated blood lead "level of concern" of 10 micrograms per deciliter. This bill, therefore, would revise the current law pertaining to childhood lead poisoning, in order to reflect the current position of the CDC on elevated blood lead levels and require the DOH to make its regulations consistent with that position. The bill would define the term "elevated blood lead level" to mean a level of lead in the bloodstream that equals or exceeds five micrograms per deciliter or other such amount as may be identified in the most recent CDC recommendations, and that necessitates the undertaking of responsive action. The bill would expressly require the DOH's rules and regulations regarding elevated blood lead levels to be consistent with the CDC's recommendations, and it would further require the DOH, within 30 days after the bill's date of enactment, and on at least a biennial basis thereafter, to review and revise these rules and regulations, in order to ensure that they comport with the latest CDC guidance on this issue. The bill would further specify that the department's public information campaign on lead screening is to: (1) highlight the importance of lead screening, and encourage parents, especially those who have not yet complied with the screening provisions of this act, to have their children screened for lead poisoning at regular intervals, in accordance with the age-based timeframes established by department regulation; 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 under this act. If the DOH changes the elevated blood lead levels that are required for responsive action, as may be necessary to conform its regulations to federal guidance, the information disseminated through the public information campaign would need to be revised and reissued within 30 days thereafter.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Health and Senior Services, Substituted by another Bill
Substituted by S1830  (on 12/19/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
12/19/2016 A Substituted by S1830
12/15/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
12/15/2016 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (13:00 12/15/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
5/12/2016 A Reported and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
5/12/2016 Assembly Health and Senior Services Hearing (10:00 5/12/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
3/7/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 12/15/2016 Assembly Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 9 0 2
Detail 5/12/2016 Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee: Reported Favorably 12 0 1