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Lead is a metal found in the earth and it is a poison. For years lead was used in paint, gasoline, plumbing and many other items. Lead paint was banned from home use in 1978. If you live in a home built before 1978, there could be lead paint and dust in your home.
Homes Built Before 1978 Many homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. Lead paint is dangerous when it:
Work or Hobbies Lead can also be brought home by family members who work with lead or have hobbies where lead is used in:
Everyday Products Many products, especially items that are imported from other countries, may contain lead. Some examples are:
A child can get lead poisoning by swallowing or breathing in lead. Oftentimes, children are poisoned by lead dust.
Since many young children spend a lot of time on the floor where lead dust collects, they can end up poisoning themselves when they put their hands and toys with lead dust on them in their mouths. Lead can also pass from a mother to her baby during pregnancy.
Children 6 and younger are the most at-risk of lead poisoning. Their bodies and brains are more sensitive because they are still growing. The good news is that lead poisoning can be prevented.
If a child becomes poisoned by lead it can cause problems with a child's growth, behavior and ability to learn.
Lead dust as small a grain of sand can be enough to poison a child. This can cause:
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should have your child tested for lead.
Here are some ways to lower your child's risk of lead poisoning:
And be sure to give your child healthy foods! Lead absorption decreases when there is enough iron and calcium in a child's diet. To help protect their body from lead and make them stronger, serve them foods high in Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C.
Lead can pass from a mother to her unborn baby. Maternal lead exposure during pregnancy can cause fatal lead exposure, which may impact fetus growth and neurodevelopment.
Prenatal healthcare providers are expected to provide each pregnant woman anticipatory guidance on lead poisoning prevention during pregnancy, and to assess each pregnant woman at the initial prenatal visit for high dose lead exposure using a risk assessment tool.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends only women who are at risk get tested. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you may be at risk for lead exposure and should talk with your doctor about having a blood test.