Classically, "lead poisoning" or "lead intoxication" has been defined as exposure to high levels of lead typically associated with severe health effects. Exposure to lead can include contaminated air, water, soil, food, and other consumer products. The amount of lead in the blood and tissues, as well as the time course of exposure, determine toxicity. Children especially are more at risk for lead poisoning because their small bodies are in a continuous state of growth and development. For this reason, children absorb lead more quickly than do adults which causes greater physical harm. Children affected by lead poisoning face symptoms of physical pain and discomfort, behavioral problems, as well as learning disabilities.
This theme of this year's National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future."
Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet hundreds of thousands of children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health. They can develop behavior and learning problems such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior. Stopping a child’s exposure to lead from leaded paint, house dust, or any other source is the best way to prevent the harmful effects of lead. The CDC is committed to eliminating this burden to public health. Homes built before 1978 should be tested for lead paint especially if there are young children living in these homes.
The CDC suggests parents take certain precautions to help prevent lead poisoning in children, such as:
- Test your home for lead paint
- Children or pregnant women should not be present during a renovation of a pre-1978 home
- Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint
- Regularly clean floors and windows with a wet cloth to remove household dust
- Regularly wash children’s hands and toys
- Avoid using traditional folk medicine and cosmetics that may contain lead
- Avoid giving the child candies imported from Mexico
- Check to make sure you dishes and storage containers are labeled lead-free
- Remove recalled toys and toy jewelry immediately from children
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
- Testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects are the ultimate goals of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
- Throughout this week, there will be events held across the country including Lead Screening Clinics, Lead Safety talks, as well as many others. More information about these events and their locations can be found on World Health Organization's website.
Interested in learning how to safely renovate a home that might have lead paint? Become a Certified Lead Renovator. Learn more at https://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-rrp-overview