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Slide 2 • Today we are going to talk about lead in the home. • Do you know why lead in the home is such an important issue, especially for children? • We are going to talk about the sources of lead in the home, where it comes from. • We also are going to talk about lead poisoning in children. o We will learn how children get lead into their bodies, and what the levels are that need to be watched. o We will also talk about the ways that you can test for lead in children. • We will go over a set of questions you can ask yourself to determine if lead is a risk in your home. • Then we will talk about some of the important action steps you can take to ensure that lead is not a problem for your family. Slide 3 • Lead poisoning has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the most common and devastating environmental disease for young children. • Recent research has indicated that very small amounts, once thought harmless, can affect the developing brain on young children. • Without any obvious outward signs, tiny amounts of lead can reduce IQ levels, and cause learning and behavioral problems in children. • Lead may also damage a child’s hearing, and the nervous system, including the brain. • It only requires a few grains of lead-contaminated dust, eaten or inhaled on a regular basis, to cause these problems. Slide 4 Due to the many uses of lead in the past, there are lots of sources of lead in and around homes. • • • • For most households, the major source of lead is contaminated dust. The paint on your walls and windowsills may have lead paint in it. Household dust from old worn paint may have lead in it. The soil outside your home may have lead in it, especially if you live near major traffic corridors or industrial sites. • Your drinking water may have lead in it from your water pipes or the solder that joins the pipes together. • Other minor sources of lead can be some types of pottery, and older, vinyl miniblinds.

Slide 5 • Prior to 1950 paint contained as much as 50% lead. This percentage was reduced in later years, as lead paint was banned from residential use in 1978. • Lead paint in good condition poses little risk, although friction surfaces (windows, doors, floors, and stairs) are a concern. • Paint that is peeling or deteriorating is especially risky. • As a general rule, the older the home, the greater the risk of lead paint. • Occupants’ poverty level and the house's disrepair are also strong predictors of a lead hazard. • “Chewable Surfaces” (child-accessible windowsills, projecting moldings, painted knobs and handles, etc.) in homes with young children are also a concern if lead based paint is present. • Some remodeling activities can produce heavy contamination if lead paint is involved. It is imperative that such work be done with an awareness of this possibility and with appropriate measures taken to control and contain lead paint chips and dust to protect both workers and occupants. Slide 6 • Water is another source of lead. • Contaminated water usually occurs from lead in solder, fixtures, and piping in the home. • Overall, the EPA estimates that about 10% of total lead is from water. • Naturally soft water is more likely to leach lead from the home’s plumbing than hard water. Slide 7 • Lead is a poison with no known useful function in the body. It can harm systems throughout the body in both adults and children. • The most important health finding about lead in recent years is that even small doses, once thought harmless, can cause serious damage, especially in young children, without any symptoms. • In 1992, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention substantially modified its earlier recommended “Intervention Level” for blood-lead. o The previous standard of 25 micrograms per deciliter of blood was revised to recommend regular screening at 10 mcg/dl and monitoring and environmental investigation at 15-19 mcg/dl, with more forceful actions about this range.

• Small doses of lead in children affect the developing nervous system causing delayed development, lowered IQ, reading and learning problems, hyperactivity, and discipline problems. • Larger doses can affect adults as well as children and can cause problems such as high blood pressure, anemia, kidney trouble, and reproductive disorders. • Convulsions and death can also occur, but these are rare. • Lead tends to accumulate in the body and its harmful effects are mostly irreversible.

Slide 8 • The most important route of exposure to lead for children is the unintentional ingestion of lead dust through teething and other hand-to-mouth activities. • Young children put their hands and everything else in their mouths, so they can eat the dust or chips of lead-based paint without knowing it. • Children’s digestive tracts absorb a significant proportion of lead in comparison to adults. • Even more important, the period of rapid growth and development in the early years of life leaves the body’s systems highly vulnerable to the effects of lead toxins. • A simple blood test is the only way to know if your child is being exposed to lead. Ask your doctor or health care provider to test your child for lead. • Children should be first tested beginning at six months of age, and then every year until age six. • If your child’s level is 10 mcg/dl, it is too high, and you will need to find out how she or he is getting the lead. Slide 9 • Do you live in an older home? o Many older homes have lead-based paint or lead in water pipes. o Lead paint as banned in 1978. o Homes built before 1950 are most likely to have lead in paint and water pipes. • Is there cracking, chipping, or flaking paint in your home? • Are there places where paint is being rubbed, such as on a door, or in a window frame? This can make dust that has lead in it. • Has your home been recently remodeled or renovated? Projects may leave dust or paint chips with lead. Slide 10 • Is there lead in the soil outside your home? o o
IT may have gotten there from paint on the outside of the building or from industry. Or it may have come from car exhaust from the days when gasoline contained lead

• Children can be poisoned if they play in soil that has lead in it or if someone tracks the soil inside the home. • Does someone you live with work where lead is used? o o
Some jobs that might create lead dust are: construction, bridge building, sandblasting, ship building, plumbing, battery making and recycling, car repair, furniture refinishing, and foundry casting. Workers can bring lead dust home on clothing, skin, or shoes.

• Does someone in your home have a hobby that uses lead? o
Hobbies such as making pottery, stained glass, or refinishing furniture all may include the use of lead.

• Have neighbor children or playmates ever had a high blood lead test? If so you may wish to talk with those parents and see if they have determined the source of lead.

Slide 11 • Have your children tested for lead. This is often free at local health clinics. • Children should first be tested at 6 months of age, and then annually until age 6. • Find out if your home has lead. Do-It-Yourself kits are available at home centers, building supply stores, and paint stores. The sensitivity of these kits is often quite limited, and they cannot test between low and high levels of lead. Your local or state health department can tell you how to go about testing for more accurate readings. • Find out if the soil around your home or at your child’s daycare has lead in it. If it does, do not let your children play there. • Have the soil test for lead to make sure it’s safe. Put in grass or other landscaping to help keep children away from soil in the meantime. • Don’t try to remove lead on your own. It should be done by trained and certified workers. You can find a certified lead paint removal company by contacting the health department. • Never dry scrape or dry sand lead paint. Don’t burn or torch it. • Children and pregnant women should stay away while work takes place. Slide 12 • Have your water tested for lead. Your local health department or County Extension office can provide you with information on labs that will test your water for lead. • Never use hot water from the tap for drinking, cooking, or making formula. Hot water can take more lead out of the pipes. • When you haven’t used any water for a few hours or overnight let the cold water run for a few minutes before using it again. You will know it has run long enough when the water changes temperature. Usually it gets colder. This clears out any water sitting in the pipes that may have collected lead or other metals. Slide 13 • Protect your children from lead by washing children’s hand and faces often with soap and water, especially before they eat. • Wash toys every week. • Keep down lead-based paint dust with housekeeping. Wipe windowsills, floors, and other surfaces with paper towels, warm water and soap once a week. Rinse well. • Never sweep, vacuum, or dry dust in a room that has lead dust. You will not remove the harmful dust and can stir it up. This includes porches, which were often painted with lead dust. • Don’t let children chew or put their mouths on windowsills. Keep cribs away from windowsills and walls. • Feed your children a healthy diet. Foods with vitamin C, calcium, and iron can help reduce lead poisoning. • Children with lead poisoning often don’t get enough iron or other minerals in their diets. Making sure your children get enough of these nutrients can lower how much lead their body takes in. Slide 14 Some key facts you want to keep in mind about lead poisoning include: o o o Recent research tells us that serious problems can be caused by lead levels originally thought to be harmless. There are often no obvious symptoms to lead poisoning until the damage has been done. Young children are especially vulnerable because their frequent hand-to-mouth behavior can lead to unintentional, and unobserved, ingestion of harmful amounts

of lead dust. They are also vulnerable because of their small size and developing body systems. o o o o In children low dose problems show no obvious signs at the time of poisoning, but can affect the developing nervous system causing lowered IQ, learning impairments, and behavioral difficulties. Adults can also suffer lead poisoning causing high blood pressure, anemia, and kidney and reproductive problems. Most older homes (pre 1978 and especially 1950 have some lead paint. Never sand, scrape, or burn paint in these homes). Water is another potential source of lead in the home. The EPA estimates that about 10% of total lead intake is from water. Our goal needs to be preventing lead poisoning rather than treating it after children have been exposed.


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