Unleaded NJ and East Trenton collaboration to commemorate ongoing partnership and share resources with community members

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Unleaded NJ and East Trenton collaboration to commemorate ongoing partnership and share resources with community members

TRENTON, April 8, 2022 NJ unleaded (LFNJ) and the East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) will bring members of the local community together on Saturday to commemorate the ongoing partnership between the two organizations and share critical lead remediation resources. The free meet and greet event will take place at Trenton Water Works on Cortland Street from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

“Lead-Free NJ is honored to continue to collaborate with East Trenton Collaborative in addition to our partner organizations including Isles, Inc.; the Trenton Health Team; and Trenton Water Works,” said Heather Sorge, LFNJ program manager. “Effectively addressing lead-contaminated water, paint and soil requires not only a strong network of committed partners, but also ongoing conversations with the communities that are directly impacted by these issues. Events like this provide our organizations with the opportunity to meet the children and families we advocate for and, most importantly, to learn from their experiences.

No level of lead exposure is safe, and lead poisoning is particularly detrimental to the physical and neurological development of children. Due to the legacy of disinvestment and environmental injustice that persists today, children in low-income communities and communities of color are particularly at risk.

“In communities like Trenton, lead is a public health crisis,” said Caitlin Fair, East Trenton Collaborative Program Manager. “One in three children in the United States has elevated lead levels, while more than 3.6 million American households with children contain significant lead hazards. The highest concentrations of these homes are in cities like Trenton, with aging housing stock and limited resources. In addition to the physical dangers of lead, high levels of lead in children contribute to difficulty concentrating, lower IQ, poor academic performance, and a significant increase in aggression and behavioral problems. Correlations have even been found between lead poisoning and absenteeism, as well as prison sentences. We see the impacts of lead on our children and communities daily, as it contributes to many other challenges and issues that underresourced communities face. In order to truly improve results, we need to start looking below the surface. Eradicating the dangers of lead in our communities must be a top priority for everyone, from residents to lawmakers and leaders. »

“I remember when I was 11, my aunt was crying because the doctors told her that her children had been poisoned by lead from eating the paint on the wall of their house,” said Kiera Stephens, a resident of ‘East Trenton. “The doctor informed her that her children would never gain weight and to this day they are still shorter than the average child their age.”

“I spend a lot of money buying water because lead galvanized pipes are all over my house,” said another Trenton resident, who chose to remain anonymous. “I am an elderly person with already a lot of health problems. I don’t want lead poisoning to be another problem.

ETC is one of three LFNJ Community Hubs, local grassroots organizations that help set and advance the annual goals and long-term goals of the LFNJ collaboration. Each community center participates in the statewide collaboration, but also meets to coordinate local efforts, develop solution strategies, and educate residents about lead exposure. Community Center specific plans are tailored to the needs of their distinct communities in Newark, Paterson and Trenton.

Saturday’s get-together event will precede a larger community celebration of the partnership between LFNJ and ETC on May 14 in coordination with the Trenton Community BBQ and ETC’s Watershed Cleanup Day. All are welcome to attend the May 14 event for free

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