Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children today. Approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends public health actions be initiated. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.
The Plainville Southington Health District (PSHD) joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in encouraging parents to learn about how to prevent lead poisoning.
This year’s theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.
“We can do our part by treating our family to a lead safe environment,” said PSHD Director of Health Shane Lockwood in the organization’s press release. “PSHD is committed to providing parents with the information they need to help eliminate this burden to public health.”
Major sources of lead exposure among U.S. children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil.
A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime.
Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:
- Wash hands and toys regularly.
- Clean dusty surfaces with a wet mop or damp cloth.
- Run cold water for at least a minute before using if you have older plumbing containing lead pipes or fittings.
- Eat a healthy diet. Regular meals and good nutrition may help lower lead absorption.
- Get your home tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection. Homes built prior to 1978 have lead-based paint.
- Get your Child Tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
- Get the Facts. Your local health department can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Contact them at (860) 276-6275.
The mission of the Plainville Southington Health District is to preserve, protect, promote, and improve the quality of life in a healthy environment through the prevention of disease, ongoing health education opportunities and the enhancement of the well-being of its residents.