The CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to the goal of eliminating elevated blood lead levels in children. Approximately 250,000 children in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 5 have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. This is the level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be taken. Lead Poisoning is entirely preventable. The goal is to prevent lead exposure in children before the children are harmed.
Children under the age of 6 are the most at risk because they grow so rapidly, and they tend to put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects may be contaminated with lead dust. Here are some tips to reduce your child’s risk of Lead Poisoning.
---Determine the construction year of your house, and any other dwelling where your child spends a large amount of time. If the building was constructed prior to 1978, assume the paint has lead until tests show otherwise. WISE is certified to test for lead levels in residences.
---Pregnant women & children should not occupy housing built before 1978 that is undergoing any renovation that may disturb old paint.
---Regularly wash your child’s hands and toys. Stay up to date with toy recalls due to the use of lead-based paint by visiting Lead Paint Toy Recalls (http://leadtoyrecalls.com/)
---Household dust is a major source of lead. Wet-mop floors & wet-wipe window components every 2-3 weeks.
---Prevent children from playing in bare oil. Please grass on areas of bare soil if possible. If using a sandbox, cover the box when not in use to prevent cats from using it as a litter box.
---Avoid using containers, cookware, or tableware that are not shown to be lead-free.
---Use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Hot water typically contains higher levels of lead.
---Shower and change your clothes after completion of any task that involves working with lead-based products, such as stain glass work, bullet-making, or using a firing range.
Planning to buy or rent a home built before 1978?
Federal law requires that you receive certain information before renting or purchasing a home built prior to 1978. Landlords must disclose any known information on lead-based paint before the lease tasks effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Sellersmust disclose any known information on lead-based paint before selling a house. Sales contracts are required to include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. As the buyer, you have up to 10 (ten) days to check for lead hazards. For assistance in checking for lead hazards, contact one of our consultants before buying a new home.
Besides pre-1978 homes, where can lead be found?
---In the soil, which can pick up lead from exterior paint.
---Drinking water. Your house’s plumbing could have lead or lead solder. Contact your local health department or water supplier to find out about getting your water tested. Boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing has lead in it, use only cold water for drinking & cooking, and run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it.
---If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Before coming home, shower and change clothes to reduce your family’s exposure to lead dust.
What is the Lead problem? -Approximately 310,000 children aged 1-5 years have blood lead levelsgreater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it can frequently go unrecognized. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavior problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death. Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead, and treating children who have been poisoned by lead.
-The goal is to prevent lead exposure to children before they are harmed. There are many ways parents can reduce a child's exposure to lead.
Common Sources of Lead -Lead-based paint is the major source of exposure for lead in U.S. children. All houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. However, it is the deterioration of the paint that causes a problem.
How WISE Can Help -Beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified, and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Due to this EPA regulation (40 CFR Part 745), WISE has partnered with the University of Las Vegas' Harry Reid Center in developing the Initial Lead Safety for Repair, Renovation & Painting course (see training catalog here) for those contractors that will perform common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition, which can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint.
What is the problem? Approximately 310,000 U.S. children aged 1-5 years have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.
How are children exposed to lead? The major source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978. However, approximately 24 million housing units in the United States have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children.
Other sources of lead poisoning are related to:
- Hobbies (making stained-glass windows)
- Work (recycling or making automobile batteries)
- Drinking water (lead pipes, solder, brass fixtures, valves can all leach lead)
- Home health remedies (azarcon and greta, which are used for upset stomach or indigestion; pay-loo-ah, which is used for rash or fever).
The US EPA Website has a very good Lead-Based Paint (LBP) resource center. It is dedicated to keeping the public informed regarding EPA's LBP program activities and products.
Training Courses EPA has developed training courses to instruct individuals in the use of lead-safe work practices during renovation and remodeling, as well as courses for lead-based paint abatement, inspection, and risk assessments.
How-To References Useful resources that provide information about how to safely conduct projects involving lead-based paint.
Technical Studies Scientific and technical data and information concerning amounts of lead in the environment, elevated levels of lead in children, the presence of LBP hazards and controlling LBP and related hazards.
Outreach Campaigns and MaterialsTo foster adoption of the new measures, EPA launched an education and outreach campaign promoting use of lead-safe work practices. EPA's analysis indicated that renovation, repair and painting projects in housing and child-occupied facilities that are likely to contain lead-based paint affect 1.4 million children under age six annually. The new requirements are key components of a comprehensive federal effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. These include programs to educate parents and caregivers to keep their housing clean and well-maintained, to make sure their young children wash their hands frequently and eat nutritious food, and to talk to their doctor about testing young children for lead poisoning. Read more about the new rule for renovation, repair and painting to protect against lead poisoning. Read the fact sheet on renovation.
Brochures and Posters Commonly used education materials for informing individuals and families on the dangers of LBP, child lead poisoning, lead testing techniques, LBP hazards and prevention.
Lead in Toy Jewelry Useful information about lead in toy jewelry. Young children often put objects in their mouths. When those objects, such as toy jewelry, contain lead, a child can suffer from lead poisoning.
Grants EPA provides funds, in the form of grants, for public and private organizations to help achieve the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning by the year 2010.
Links Provides links to the EPA lead hotline, databases, additional EPA offices dedicated to fighting lead-poisoning, and non-EPA lead related resources.