Oct
24

Lead Your Neighborhood in Lead Poisoning Prevention

October 24, 2010

Welcome to National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week!

You could have lead in your Chicago home and not even know it. The week of October 24-30 has been set aside to raise awareness involving the dangers of lead poisoning and offer suggestions on what you can do to be safe.

Lead-paint poisoning affects more than 1 million children today.

Even low levels of exposure can lead to:

*Learning disabilities

*Decreased intelligence, language and speech

*Behavioral problems

On a more serious level, lead poisoning can cause:

*Brain and nervous system disorders

*High blood pressure and hypertension

*Reproductive problems

Lead poisoning is hard to detect. Sometimes there are no symptoms and other times the symptoms are the same as those of more common illnesses.

Some early signs of lead poisoning in children:

lead poisoning

The law requires all renovations done in homes built before 1978 have a certified lead specialist on site. Click the pic for more information.

*Persistent tiredness or hyperactivity

*Irritability

*Loss of appetite

*Weight loss

*Reduced attention span

*Difficulty sleeping

*Constipation

*Headaches

*Hearing problems

Yikes! Those symptoms are really common!

This year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week theme is Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future.

Here are some simple things you can do to protect your family:

*Get your home tested for lead, especially if you live in a home built before 1978.

*Ask your pediatrician to do a blood test on your children, even if they seem healthy. You can also contact a local testing provider.

*Keep your home clean and dust-free.

*Wipe away any paint chips with a wet sponge or rag.

*Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.

*Be aware that some older toys could contain lead-based paint and some newer, imported toys have been recalled because of  high levels of lead.

There’s a lot more you can do to prevent lead poisoning, whether you are a parent, teacher, doctor, landlord, do-it-yourselfer, contractor, home buyer, home owner or renter. For more tips, check out www.leadfreekids.org.

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Tracey

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