Section: Findings, declarations relative to lead hazard control.
2. The Legislature finds and declares:
a. Lead is an element that has been used over the years in many products. The toxicity of lead has been known for several decades, causing its inclusion in products such as gasoline and residential paint to be banned by the federal government.
b. All animals and people can be negatively affected by lead, depending upon the amount, duration, and promptness of treatment. The range of health effects includes reduced stature, miscarriage, hypertension, and, most notably, neurological damage, particularly in children whose brains are developing.
c. Although a number of sources of lead exposure have been brought under control, environmental and public health professionals believe that the toxic metal lead is the number one environmental hazard facing children today. A substantial majority of lead exposure is derived from lead-based paint and dust.
d. Because of the age of New Jersey's housing stock, our State is among the states with the most serious risk of exposure from previous residential use of lead-based paint. It is estimated that there are about two million homes which were constructed in New Jersey prior to 1978, the year in which the sale of lead in paint for residential use was banned.
e. A comprehensive program to identify lead hazards in residential housing and also to identify housing which is safe from exposure to lead hazards is necessary in order to eradicate the major source of lead exposure to our State's children. The Legislature further finds that children living in rental housing are particularly at risk to exposure from lead because tenants do not have the requisite control over rental units to abate lead hazards from the property. Therefore, the comprehensive program will emphasize methods to safeguard children residing in rental housing and require the State to track the progress of making all of New Jersey's rental housing stock more lead safe.
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