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 (https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/acclpp/lead_levels_in_children_fact_sheet.pdf).
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 (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-02/documents/fight_lead_with_a_healthy_diet.pdf) and in Spanish (https://epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/nutritionsp.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: in English at (http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/rr_english_color_book.pdf)
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 & 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.
Check out these Great Resources!
- Are You Pregnant? Learn how to protect yourself and your baby
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 1-585-244-4771 or visit their website (http://urmc.rochester.edu/finger-lakes-occupational-health.aspx)
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 1-877-352-5775 or visit their website at (https://urmc.rochester.edu/childrens-hospital/lead-poisoning-resource-center.aspx)