• October 22-28 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

    Get Your Home Tested. Get Your Child Tested. Get the FACTS.

    There is NO safe blood lead level in children. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.

    Lead, a heavy metal and a neurotoxin, can be found in air, soil, and water- In St. Joseph County, our largest risk for lead poisoning is LEAD-based paint; found in older homes built before 1980. Once lead makes its way in to the body, it can lead to lasting health effects such as a delay in development, language, inability to control specific behaviors, and more.

    Lead poisoning is 100% preventable- Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease of young children.

    How to make your home LEAD SAFE-

    Talk to your state or local health department about testing paint and dust from your home for lead.

    Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chew-able surfaces painted with lead-based paint.

    Children and pregnant women should not be present in housing built before 1978 that is undergoing renovation. They should not participate in activities that disturb old paint or in cleaning up paint debris after work is completed.
    Create barriers between living/play areas and lead sources. Until environmental clean-up is completed, you should clean and isolate all sources of lead. Close and lock doors to keep children away from chipping or peeling paint on walls. You can also apply temporary barriers such as contact paper or duct tape, to cover holes in walls or to block children’s access to other sources of lead.
    Regularly wash children’s hands and toys. Hands and toys can become contaminated from household dust or exterior soil. Both are known lead sources.
    Regularly wet-mop floors and wet-wipe window components. Because household dust is a major source of lead, you should wet-mop floors and wet-wipe horizontal surfaces every 2-3 weeks. Windowsills and wells can contain high levels of leaded dust. They should be kept clean. If feasible, windows should be shut to prevent abrasion of painted surfaces or opened from the top sash.
    Take off shoes when entering the house to prevent bringing lead-contaminated soil in from outside.

    Prevent children from playing in bare soil; if possible, provide them with sandboxes. Plant grass on areas of bare soil or cover the soil with grass seed, mulch, or wood chips, if possible. Until the bare soil is covered, move play areas away from bare soil and away from the sides of the house. If you have a sandbox, cover the box when not in use to prevent cats from using it as a litter box. That will help protect children from exposure to animal waste.

    For more information, click here.

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