|Lead poisoning is the number one preventable environmental health problem. There are usually no symptoms when you have lead in your blood; the only way to know for sure is to get a simple lead test.
Who’s at risk? Our kids, our workers, and pregnant women. Anyone living in older housing or working with lead as a job or a hobby.
Young children are in the most danger. More lead gets into their bodies from playing on the ground, putting their hands in their mouths or using products that have lead in them.
Pregnant women are also very vulnerable because lead passes to the baby from the mother’s blood, which can disrupt the normal development of the brain.
Adults can also have bad health effects from lead in their blood. Some of these can be very serious, such as high blood pressure, memory loss, kidney failure, severe hearing loss, and male reproductive problems. They may also experience headaches, stomach pain, and general arthritis-like pains.
Sources of lead poisoning
The main source of lead in our environment is peeling and chipping paint in houses built before 1978. Paint that is chipped or removed during remodeling project becomes part of the dust inside your house, and mixes with the soil outside.
The public has been alerted about lead in toys, candies, foods, ceramic containers, juice boxes, children’s metal jewelry and ornaments on their clothes, to name a few. Often these things have been made in other countries and we are not aware that they contain lead.
Adults can also bring lead home from work on their clothes, hands, and hair. Adults who work with lead may be in construction, painting, car repair, etc.
Screening is the only way to tell!
A blood lead test is the only way to discover dangerous levels of lead. If your child shows any symptoms of high lead, ask your doctor to order a simple test. If lead poisoning is found, you can take steps to locate its source and clean it up. For more information, go to:
|WHAT YOU CAN DO|