Monmouth County Health Department Newsletter: October-November 2019

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monmouth county health department

October-November 2019

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Thousands of children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may significantly damage their health. They can develop behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing issues and aggressive patterns of behavior. Stopping a child’s exposure from leaded paint, house dust or any other source is the best way to prevent the harmful effects of lead. 


To raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and pregnant women who live in homes built before 1978, the MCHD is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) Oct. 20-26, The MCHD joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to encourage parents to learn more about how to prevent lead poisoning. 


NLPPW reminds residents of the importance of testing your home, testing your child and learning how to prevent serious health effects caused by lead poisoning.

Ask the Inspector

Do you have a question about a Public Health topic? Restaurants? Body Art? Tanning? Rabies or Animal Control? Septic Systems? Environmental issues? Immunizations? Solid Waste? This is your opportunity to Ask the Inspector. Send your questions to and we may answer them in an upcoming newsletter.


Lead paint flaking off

Q. I rent an older house and afraid that it has lead paint in it. Can you come and test it for me? I don’t want my kids to become lead poisoned.

A. The answer to your question is…Maybe!


Older homes, those built before 1978 when the production of lead paint was stopped, are more apt to have lead paint surfaces for several reasons. Lead paint was once considered a superior product due to its durability and vibrant color. The proud homeowner would use less expensive paint on the walls and paint what we used to call the “woodwork” with the more expensive leaded paint.
But now, we recognize that some of the “woodwork” is, in fact, friction and impact surfaces, which generate lead dust as a result of their intended use. Opening and closing lead painted windows and doors for example results in the gradual creation of leaded dust which accumulates in the window wells and troughs and is blown into the building. The dust which is heavier than air ultimately settles out onto the floors and other horizontal surfaces. Infants and toddlers crawl through the leaded dust and then ingest the dust through normal hand to mouth activity.

As a renter, the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) may be able to check for leaded paint but there is no regulation prohibiting the mere PRESENCE of leaded paint.


If you are suspicious of lead based paint; there are things you can do. Whenever possible, wet clean and mop. Dry sweeping or vacuuming without a HEPA filter will resuspend the lead dust in the air column where it will eventually settle back onto the floor, starting the cycle all over again. Wet cleaning can reduce the presence of potentially leaded dust. Use a Walk off Doormat to prevent dirt and other contaminants from entering the dwelling. Of course, address any chipping, peeling or deteriorating painted surface.


But most importantly, have your children screened for blood lead. The regulations in New Jersey are all designed to address childhood lead poisoning. That means that once an elevated blood lead level is identified, all the regulations in New Jersey take effect and at that point, MCHD does have the authority to inspect the home and require the abatement of lead paint.


The MCHD has an abundance of information available to residents through the Childhood Lead Poisoning Program. Contact us at 732-431-7456, ext. 8580.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early detection is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.


How Can I Lower My Risk?  Some main factors that influence your risk for breast cancer include:

  • Being a woman, even though men can be at risk for breast cancer.
  • Being older (most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older).
  • Having changes in your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Most women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families. There are things you can do to can help lower your breast cancer risk.

Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, which will be easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about breast cancer screening.

Flu Shot Clinics available soon

Flu Shot

Flu Season is quickly approaching. It is time to plan to get your flu shot. The MCHD is currently scheduling clinics for the next several months. Check the Calendar of Events regularly for dates and times. Cost is $25.00 and several insurance plans are accepted. Call 732-431-7456, ext. 8512 for more information.

Did you know?

The MCHD sampled 47 ocean water bathing sites and over 30 miles of coastline weekly during the 2019 summer season.  For additional information, as well as sampling results, visit

Board of Health Members

Brian Charnick, Acting President 
Ellynn Kahle
Ross Licitra
Andrew Wardell


Susan M. Kiley, Liaison 
Deputy Director Patrick Impreveduto


Christopher P. Merkel M.P.H., H.O.

Public Health Coordinator

Board of Health Meetings

Board of Health Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified in our Calendar of Events. The meetings take place in the Small Conference Room of the Monmouth County Health Department, 50 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728


Monmouth County Seal 2018