The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Exposure to lead and lead poisoning leads to morbidity, mortality, mental retardation, and learning disability in young children, the monetary and social costs of which far exceed the costs of monitoring and preventing lead poisoning.
b. The New Jersey Department of Health estimates that 44 of every 1000 children are at risk of lead poisoning and that the rate of lead poisoning among children at risk now exceeds the rate of paralytic polio at the height of the epidemic of the 1950's; however, the department has the resources to test and follow up on only 16% of the 220,000 children it estimates are at risk of lead poisoning.
c. Very few health departments have the resources to comply fully with the minimum standards of performance for local boards of health and Chapter XIII of the State Sanitary Code concerning control of lead poisoning in children due to the costs of the required testing, follow-up and abatement.
L. 1985, c. 84, s. 1, eff. March 25, 1985.