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A message from Atlantic Health System:
May 13, 2016
We have been working closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to restore our safe water supply after varying levels of lead were found in late February. This morning, we were informed by the DEP that all buildings on the Morristown Medical Center campus except the Farris Building, an outpatient/administrative building, may safely return to tap water. Confirmatory water sampling tests conducted Monday verified our well water was safe for all activities including drinking and food preparation. The Farris Building will remain on bottled water until further treatment enhancements are completed.
The safety of our patients, guests, and employees is, and always has been, the highest priority at Morristown Medical Center, and we will continue to work with the DEP and DOH to ensure the ongoing safety and quality of our well water. In addition to scheduling more frequent water testing, we installed state-of-the-art water treatment and monitoring technology, added high-quality filters on our ice machines and sinks, and will be installing water fountains with advanced filtration and sanitization.
We thank the community, especially the Town of Morristown and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, for their support. We continue to offer our services and resources to local schools dealing with the same issue.
May 3, 2016
We have stabilized the water system at Morristown Medical Center after the installation of new water and orthophosphate pumping equipment. We are pleased to report that results from water sampling tests taken over the past few weeks show almost no trace of lead.
We recently shared these results with the Department of Environmental Protection and have begun initial discussions with them about restoring our well water supply. We will provide an update to you as we know more. In the spirit of complete transparency, we will also share the results from the next compliance testing we conduct with state authorities.
We have closed our call center, as we were not receiving many calls. The number of people who have received blood lead level testing has also slowed significantly. To date, 1,815 people have been tested, and only three adult tests came back with slightly elevated levels. Our medical staff conducted thorough risk assessments with these individuals, and believe their elevated levels were due to previous environmental exposure.
April 15, 2016
Over the past few weeks, we have been working to stabilize our system. This process included the addition of new equipment to improve enhanced control of the amount of orthophosphate being pumped into the system, and flushing the system as needed. We have also been sampling the lead levels on a weekly basis and have seen them steadily decline.
We are happy to report that as of today, more than 90 percent of the samples from the latest sampling came back under the acceptable threshold of 15 parts per billion. We hope to conduct our next compliance testing with the DEP in the next two weeks and begin discussions to restore our safe water supply and remove the bottled water.
We have seen a decline in calls to the call center, Poison Control Center, and number of people requesting blood lead level testing, and will begin to decrease those hours of operation. To date, 1,820 people have been tested, and only three adult tests came back with slightly elevated levels. Our medical staff conducted thorough risk assessments with these individuals, and believe their elevated levels were due to previous environmental exposure.
March 23, 2016
Morristown Medical Center is currently offering lead testing to those who ingested tap water at the hospital between January 22 and February 25, 2016. In order to accurately calculate your level of potential lead exposure, blood lead level testing should be performed by Thursday, March 31. Any testing after that date may not accurately reflect the level of potential exposure. Morristown Medical Center removed all exposure to lead on February 25 when we moved to bottled water for drinking and food preparation.
For more information about testing, call 844-754-5537 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 11, 2016
Morristown Medical Center has completed blood lead level testing for more than 1,000 people, and results received to date have been under 5 mcg/dL, the Centers for Disease Control threshold for an acceptable blood lead level. A singular, adult blood lead level under 7 mcg/dL, over the acceptable threshold, was reported, and a thorough risk assessment concluded that this was attributable to previous environmental exposure.
"About 2.5 percent of the U.S. population has a blood lead level over 5 mcg/dL, so we expected to see a few results over 5 mcg/dL," said Diane Calello, MD, Director of Toxicology at Morristown Medical Center. "The fact that we only have one person to date outside of this range is encouraging."
Morristown Medical Center continues to offer no-cost blood lead level testing for anyone who is concerned about their level of potential exposure. For more information, contact our call center at 855-635-4657 or email email@example.com. The call center will be open from 8am to 8pm. Outside of those hours, we ask that you speak with the NJ Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222, which is equipped to answer questions immediately.
March 4, 2016
Working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), we have determined that patients, guests, employees, volunteers, medical staff, and vendors at Morristown Medical Center between January 22 through February 25, 2016 who ingested tap water may have had an exposure to lead.
Morristown Medical Center has established a call center at 855-635-4657 to answer any questions concerned individuals may have.
The call center will be open from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Outside of those hours, we ask that you speak with the NJ Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222, which is equipped to answer questions immediately.
Per federal guidelines, a communication will be going out with further information.