Lead Alerts – Information about emerging public safety concerns 

“The New Jersey Poison Center has a long history of managing the effects of lead exposure from a variety of sources.  Whether it is a child in an older home with indoor lead pain, a person concerned about drinking water, or a variety of other sources, we have experts standing by to offer advice to the public and healthcare professionals alike.”

– Dr. Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center

Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause brain damage and other serious health effects in children, adults, and even pets. Lead poisoning occurs when lead paint chips are eaten or when lead dust is either eaten or breathed into the lungs. Lead has been reported to cause learning and developmental disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing and brain damage.

Homes built after 1978 are not likely to have lead based paint. Lead can be found around the home in dust, paint and soil. Lead becomes incorporated into dust from lead paint found on doors/window frames and during home renovations where Hiwalls are broken. As paint ages, it chips and brakes away from the walls where it can be placed in the mouth by young children. Lead has also been found in children’s costume jewelry, foods, dietary and herbal products, and even some candies made outside the U.S.

If you have a question about lead poisoning or how to prevent it, remember help is just a phone call away. 1-800-222-1222

(Available in English and Spanish)


Information from the Experts about Lead in Water (Media)

Information about Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in Newark Drinking Water

Elevated lead levels have been found in drinking water in Newark, New Jersey.  The presence of lead in drinking water has been attributed to aging lead pipes.

Information on where to pick up free bottled water can be found here.

Check your address to see if you have a lead service line here.

Information from the City of Newark about lead in drinking water can be found here.

If you are looking for information about the health effects of lead call the New Jersey Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222

Additional Resources

Lead in the Workplace

Keeping Children Safe From Lead

Exposure to Lead in Soil

Lead Poisoning and Pregnancy 

Lead Safe Renovations and Repairs

Resources and Educational Materials from the NJ Department of Health