Mercer County Public Health Profile Report
Risk Factor for Childhood Lead Exposure: Pre-1950 and Pre-1980 Housing: Percent of Pre-1950 Housing Units, as of 2016-2020
Mercer28.6% 95% Confidence IntervalNADescription of the Confidence IntervalThe confidence interval indicates the range of probable true values for the level of risk in the community.
A value of "NA" (Not Available) will appear if the confidence interval was not published with the NJSHAD indicator data for this measure.
State25.2% U.S. NANA=Data not available.
Mercer Compared to State
Description of Gauge
Description of the GaugeThis graphic is based on the county data to the left. It compares the county value of this indicator to the state overall value.
The county value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the county's 95% confidence interval. If the county's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the county's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the county and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a county should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the county number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.
- Excellent = The county's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
- Watch = The county's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
- Improvement Needed = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
- Reason for Concern = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
Why Is This Important?While all children in New Jersey are at risk of exposure to lead, children who reside in homes build prior to 1950 are at highest risk for elevated blood lead due to the potential presence of leaded paint. In addition, children living in homes constructed prior to 1980 are at risk due to the fact that use of lead-based paint for residential homes was not discontinued until 1980. Major sources of lead exposure to children are: peeling or deteriorated leaded paint; lead-contaminated dust created by renovation or removal of lead-containing paint; and lead contamination brought home by adults who work in an occupation that involves lead, or who engage in a hobby where lead is used. Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults. The first six years of life are the time when the brain grows the fastest, and when the critical connections in the brain and nervous system that control thought, learning, hearing, movement, behavior and emotions are formed. The normal behavior of very young children (crawling, exploring, teething, and putting objects in their mouth) exposes young children to lead that is present in their environment.
How Are We Doing?In 2020, New Jersey had over 913,000 housing units which were built before 1950. The number of housing units built before 1950 ranged from about 8,000 in Salem County to over 129,000 in Essex County. The percentage of housing units built before 1950 was highest in Essex (40.8%) and Union (39.9%) Counties. Ocean County had the lowest percentage of housing units built before 1950 (7.2%). Also in 2020, New Jersey had approximately 2.4 million housing units which were built before 1980. The number of housing units built before 1980 ranged from approximately 20,000 in Salem County to over 275,000 in Bergen County. The percentage of housing units built before 1980 was highest in Union (82.0%) and Passaic (80.5%) Counties. Somerset County had the lowest percentage of housing units built before 1980 (49.1%).
What Is Being Done?The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) maintains a Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, [http://nj.gov/health/childhoodlead/]. This program has a surveillance system that collects information from laboratories regarding the results of blood lead tests performed on children in New Jersey, identifies children with elevated test results, and notifies local health departments regarding children with elevated blood lead tests who reside in their jurisdiction.
Relevant Population Characteristics:
- Childhood Lead Testing Coverage
- Children under 3 Years of Age with a Confirmed Elevated Blood Lead Level
- Children Under Five Years of Age Living in Poverty
Health Care System Factors:
Health Status Outcomes:
Data SourcesAmerican Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, [https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/]
Measure Description for Risk Factor for Childhood Lead Exposure: Pre-1950 and Pre-1980 Housing
Definition: Number or percent of either pre-1950 or pre-1980 housing units
Numerator: Number of residential housing units built prior to 1950 or pre-1980 in a geographic area (based upon 2020 American Community Survey data)
Denominator: Number of residential housing units in a geographic area (based upon 2020 housing unit data from American Community Survey)