According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 250,000 children have elevated blood-lead levels in the United States. In most cases, children have been exposed to lead poisoning in their very own homes. That’s a shocking fact, especially when you consider that lead poisoning can be prevented.
During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23 – 29, 2011, raise your awareness of the risk of lead poisoning in the home, and learn what you can do to provide a healthier environment for your family.
What is lead poisoning?
Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Lead poisoning comes from paint used in the home, which can flake off, chip, and turn into dust that we breathe in. We can accidentally consume it when we eat and drink, as well. Lead poisoning can damage the central nervous system, and cause serious health issues in children including ADD, ADHD, speech delay, behavioral issues, and much more. Learn more.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone that has lived in an atmosphere with lead paint can be affected, however children under 6 years of age are most at risk. A simple blood test can be performed at your local health department to see if you or your children have been exposed. Learn more.
Minimize lead exposure
In April 2010, in an effort to minimize lead exposure, new laws were passed to change the way home improvement projects were handled. If your home was built before 1978, and you plan on hiring a professional contractor to remodel or refurbish your home, make sure you are aware of ‘How the New Lead Paint Laws May Affect You’.
In addition, The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends, in part, that the following action be taken to minimize lead exposure in the home:
- Before hiring a contractor, verify that they are registered with the EPA’s lead safety program.
- Contractors must use HEPA vacuums and/or wet mopping to supplies to remove lead particles.
- Daily cleanup of the construction site must be performed to minimize lead exposure.
- Contaminated materials should be disposed of in heavy-duty plastic bags.
- New plastic sheeting must be used to block the perimeter. Resuable cloth is not permitted.
Danger Alert! – Lead poisoning in the home
How the new lead paint laws may affect you
Fireplace safety tips
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