Infants' and toddlers' growth and development make them especially susceptible to the harmful effects of lead poisoning. It can affect the brain, heart, bones and kidneys. And it doesn't take much. Small amounts can cause permanent learning and behavioral problems, often with no physical symptoms.
That's why it's New York State law to get your child tested for lead at ages 1 and 2. For more information visit the Lets Make Lead History website or call 585-224-3125
Tips for a Lead Safe Home
- Get your home professionally tested for lead if it was built before 1978.
Renters: Talk with your landlord about safely addressing potential lead hazards. You cannot be evicted for requesting a lead inspection.
Homeowners: Your city or county government may have resources or grants to help fix lead hazards.
- Wash children's hands and toys with soap and water frequently.
- Keep children away from cracking or peeling paint. dust or exposed soil.
- Use lead-safe cleaning techniques like lightly dampening the cloth or floor when you dust or sweep.
Lead poisoning is still a problem across New York State, including Wayne County. Many homes in Wayne County were constructed and painted prior to 1978 when lead based paints were removed from the market.
Lead Poisoning Is Preventable
Ingestion of lead contaminated dust, paint, and soil are the primary cases of childhood lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in lead glazed or painted pottery, ammunition, fishing sinkers, stained glass solder, batteries, and imported foods, supplements and candy, clothing, toys and jewelry.
New York State requires doctors to do lead testing on all children at ages 1 and 2. Only a blood test can tell how much lead is in a child's body. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines acceptable blood lead levels in children.
Lead poisoning has no initial symptoms but can lead to loss of developmental skills, slowed body growth, low iron, reduced IQ, hearing loss, behavior and attention problems. Children living in homes being remodeled that have been built before 1978 are at increased risk of being exposed to lead.
Parents can protect their child from becoming lead poisoned by:
- Wash your child's hands often before meals, nap time, after playing outside and at bedtime.
- Provide their children with a lead-healthy diet in English and in Spanish (PDF)
- Wet dust and wet mop your home to keep dust tainted with lead from being spread throughout your home.
- Take appropriate precautions when starting remodeling projects More information can be found in Renovate Right Booklet
Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years of age are at greatest risk of exposure of lead because they are apt to put fingers, hands, and toys in their mouths. Children are eye level with window sills where lead paint could be lurking. They are at risk for poisoning if they chew on these areas or inhale lead-tainted dust created by opening and closing windows.
Talk to your doctor about having your child tested for lead poisoning. If you do not have insurance you can call Wayne County Public Health at 315-946-5749 to have your child tested.
Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services
If you are exposed to lead on the job and concerned about your health contact Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services at 585-244-4771 or visit their website.
The Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center
It is located in Rochester and serves 9 counties. They provide support to medical providers, local health departments and provide lead poisoning prevention information to the public. Contact the Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center at 877-352-5775 or visit their website.