Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Protecting children from lead poisoning

Did you know October 23-29 is Lead Poisoning Prevention Week?

Lead poisoning can affect
children for a lifetime.
For children, lead exposure is no laughing matter.

Even low levels of exposure to lead can cause a host of developmental effects such as learning disabilities, decreased intelligence and speech, language, and behavioral problems, which can affect children for a lifetime.

Luckily, parents can protect their children - they just need to know how.

"Lead poisoning can have life-altering health effects, especially on our children. But it is entirely preventable if we take the right steps to protect our children in all the places where they live, learn and play," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a recent news release.

"National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to strengthen our awareness and prevention efforts and ensure parents have the tools they need to protect their children against lead exposure every day of the year."

Avoid common sources of exposure

Children are most often exposed to lead through
  • Lead-based paint
  • Lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings (built before 1978 and improperly renovated)

Simple ways to help protect your children:
  1. Get your home tested. Have your home inspected if you live in a home built before 1978.
  2. Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
  3. Get the facts. Visit leadfreekids.org or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

More information on lead poisoning prevention: http://www.leadfreekids.org or http://www.epa.gov/lead