5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about Lead Poisoning

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With the recent water supply issues in Flint, Michigan, many people are starting to wonder whether or not they might be at risk for lead exposure in their own homes. There are a wide variety of different ways that a person could be exposed to lead, ranging from water to lead to paint, and beyond. Here are the five things that you need to know about lead poisoning:

1. It is recommended that all children should be screened for lead by age two. The CDC actually recommends that parents have their children screened for lead exposure by the time they are two years old, especially if that child is being raised in a home that has lead paint. This usually requires a trip to the doctor’s where they will conduct a blood test, letting you know if your child has elevated levels of lead or not.

2. Even a little lead exposure is dangerous. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to lead can have serious brain damage, especially if they are exposed under the age of six. Not only can it reduce IQ, it can also increase the incidence of ADD and aggression. There is not safe level of lead exposure.

3. Lead paint is the most common way children are exposed to lead. While people are now worrying about lead in their water, lead-based paint is a much bigger issue, and is far more likely to be a factor for the average family.

4. There are other sources that you need to worry about. Some of the most common ways children are exposed include contaminated dirt that surrounds a house, water that is run through lead pipes, and toys that are painted with lead-based paint. If you live near an old factory, the soil around your home could be contaminated with lead. Plumbing that is more than thirty years old is likely to have been made with lead. Even glazed pottery is a concern.

5. You should not try to remediate the problem yourself. If you suspect that your child is being exposed to lead, you should work with a certified contractor to make sure that any and all lead, whether in the form of paint or in the form of plumbing is safely removed from your home.

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