Two Rivers: Lead Poisoning Prevention
There is no known safe level of lead.
- Although the blood lead level of concern was lowered from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms per deciliter, there is no documented safe level of lead.
- Even low levels of lead can affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Children under 6 years of age are at greatest risk.
- Children are growing quickly.
- Children put objects in their mouth and often forget to wash their hands.
There are common sources we think of.
- Paint in houses built before 1978
- Water pumped through leaded pipes
- Imported items like unglazed clay pots
There are less common sources.
- Some candy, make-up, or jewelry
- Some toys: see Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website
Some occupations or hobbies put children and parents at risk.
- Work with ammunition and reloading of cartridges
- Those who work with solder, like welders
Lead can be brought in to our homes.
- Lead can be found in soil.
We can compete with lead by eating foods rich in calcium and iron.
- Foods high in calcium include dairy products, nuts, and broccoli.
- Food rich in iron include red meat, oatmeal, seeds, dried fruits, beans, fortified cereals, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Taking simple precautions can help.
- Leave shoes and affected outer clothes outside.
- Wash hands and bodies often.
- Household dust is a major source of lead, it is recommended that you wet-mop floors and wet-wipe horizontal surfaces every 2-3 weeks