Lead Poisoning Prevention
Lead poisoning is a condition caused by the swallowing or inhaling of lead. Some sources for this can be lead-based paint or pipes found in older residences or buildings, and any other lead-containing materials including contaminated dust or fumes. Young children face the greatest risks from lead because their bodies absorb lead more easily, and because they are more apt to put things into their mouths.
You can stay safe around lead! Wash the lead out! Keep your home clean. Dust and dirt in and around your home may contain lead. Lead is harmful for adults, children and even unborn babies. In babies and children, it can cause permanent learning and behavior problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, kidney problems, damage to nervous system and brain and even death.
Where can Lead be found?
Lead can be found in some hobby & craft supplies. It can be found in costume or play jewelry, painted and metal toys. Food or drinks stored in leaded glassware or lead-glazed pottery may contain lead as well as water from old lead pipes. Some folk remedies can contain lead such as: Greta, Azarcon, Ghasard and Ba-baw-san. Some candies, especially those from countries that do not regulate lead, can contain lead. Paint, paint chips or paint dust in homes built before 1978 is a major source of lead exposure for children in the United States. Chipping and peeling paint from old tubs and sinks. Lead from emissions for cars which burned lead gasoline rests in the soil of yards, playgrounds, or gardens near busy streets and highways.
What can you do?
Eat enough healthy foods especially foods high in iron and calcium. Avoid fried and high fat foods! The body easily absorbs lead when you eat high fat foods. Wash your hands often and carefully after playing outside, before eating and before sleeping. Get your children tested, especially at age 1 and 2! Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
The new rule…..The EPA is requiring that contractors be Lead-Safe Certified! Contractors include: renovators, electricians, HVAC specialists, plumbers, painters and maintenance staff who disrupt more than size square feet of lead paint. If you live in an apartment or condominium, it is your right to insist on a Lead-Safe Certified Contractor! To find a contractor who is Lead-Safe Certified near you, visit EPA Get Lead Safe or call 1-800-424-LEAD.
Pediatricians who see children between the ages of six months and six years of age should conduct universal lead screenings. Testing is recommended at age 1 and 2.
The Columbia County Department of Health provides lead screenings by appointment for children under age 6 who have no medical insurance. An environmental assessment for lead in a structure can be performed by this department when elevated blood levels have been demonstrated for occupants.