Lead can be found in homes and buildings and can cause illness if exposure continues. Lead exposure may occur from ingesting food or drinks that contain lead, being exposed to lead-based paint, or using medication that contains lead. Long-term and high-level exposure in adults can cause brain and kidney damage and may lead to reproductive health problems. Lead exposure in pregnant women may cause an increased risk for pre-term delivery or low infant birth rates.
Lead in Children
Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults because their nervous systems are still developing. Their bodies absorb more lead during exposure than adults. Children are also more sensitive to the effects of lead. Babies and small children can swallow or breathe in lead from contaminated dirt, dust, or sand while playing on the ground or floor. Lead exposure in children can affect a child's learning, behavior, and growth.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Pregnant women and children should not be present in a house built before 1978 that is undergoing renovation.
Wash your child's hands and toys regularly.
Prevent children from playing in bare soil. Use sandboxes and cover soil with grass seed, mulch, or wood chips, if possible.
Regularly wet-mop floors and wet-wipe windows to minimize exposure to household dust, which is a major source of lead.
Remove children from peeling paint or chewable surfaces with lead-based paint.
For information on blood lead testing, please call (417) 874-2253.