National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is aimed to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness in an effort to reduce children’s exposure to lead in their environment and prevent its health effects.
Any child can be exposed to lead, but some children are at higher risk. Low-income families and those who live in homes built before 1978 with original leaded paint are among those at highest risk. Testing blood levels is the best way to tell if a child has been exposed to lead poisoning and consulting with your healthcare provider.
Lead is a toxic metal and exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms. According to the CDC, at least 4 million households have children living in them that are at risk of being exposed to high levels of lead. Since 2013, North Carolina has identified more than 4,000 children with elevated blood lead levels.
Protect Your Children from Lead Exposure
When it comes to lead there is no safe amount. Act early and get your child tested – ask your child’s health care provider today. There is NO known safe blood lead level. Children 1-2 years old are at highest risk because of rapid brain development at that age.
Lead can cause:
- learning disabilities
- behavioral problems
- at very high levels: seizures, coma, and even death can occur.
Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. Asking your health care provider to perform a blood lead test is the only sure way to determine if a child has been exposed to lead.
Children are exposed to lead primarily because of exposure to lead-based paint in poor condition and lead-contaminated dust and soil found in housing built before 1978. Call the N.C. Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Hotline at 1-888-774-0071 for other sources of lead exposure.
Get Your Home Tested
If your home was built before 1978, you can get it tested for lead-based paint with:
- A lead-based paint inspection that tells you if your home has lead-based paint and where it is located.
- A lead risk assessment that tells you if your home currently has any lead hazards from lead in paint, dust, or soil and what actions to take to address those hazards.
- A combination inspection and risk assessment that tells you if your home has any lead-based paint or lead hazards and where both are located. Find a certified lead-based paint inspector or risk assesor or call the National Lead Information Center at 1 (800) 424-LEAD .
- Ask your landlord to have your home or apartment tested if you rent.