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HOW DO CHILDREN GET LEAD POISONING?

Lead poisoning occurs when a person swallows or breathes in lead dust. Children—particularly those under the age of six—are most at risk. Even small amounts of dust, as little as a sugar packet’s worth, can cause serious health problems, such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, speech and language problems, and behavioral problems. That’s why it’s important to know the hazards that could put your child at risk.

PAINT IN HOMES BUILT BEFORE 1978

Older homes with peeling or deteriorated paint can produce lead dust that children ingest when they put their hands or toys into their mouths.

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HOME RENOVATION PROJECTS

Lead dust hazards can be created during home renovation projects. To be safe, make sure you get your home tested before starting any renovation projects and hire only EPA Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP) certified contractors — as they’re required by the law to have their certification.

Find an EPA Certified Firm …

WATER AND OTHER SOURCES

Though not a primary exposure source, lead can be found in water if your home or neighborhood has old pipes made from lead. Lead can also be found in soil, water, jewelry, pottery, candy, imported cosmetics, folk remedies, and hobby materials. Always check labels for lead hazards.

LEAD EXPOSURE IN THE WOMB

Pregnant women who are exposed to lead can lead poison their baby while still in the womb. Get a blood test for lead at your prenatal visit.

Learn more about how lead can affect your baby’s health.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The effects of lead poisoning are serious—and permanent. But there are steps you can take to reduce the risk and protect your child’s future. Know the symptoms of lead poisoning: headache, stomachache, irritability, fatigue, loss of appetite, and joint pain. Ask your child’s healthcare provider for a blood test to check for lead … at age 1 and again at 2. The longer lead remains in the body of a young child, the higher the risk of permanent damage.

Get Your Child Tested

The symptoms of lead poisoning aren’t always easy to see. Lots of things happen at appointments, make sure lead is on the list. Talk to your doctor about requesting a lead test.

Know Their Results

No level of lead has been found to be safe. If your child tests positive for lead, talk to your healthcare provider about what their blood lead test results mean.

Request A Free Home Inspection

If you rent or own a home in the City of Rochester, call 585-428-6520 to request a free lead inspection. Renters, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to make sure your home is lead safe.

Wash Hands Frequently

Wash your child’s hands with soap and water—not hand sanitizer—before eating and after playing to reduce the risk of swallowing lead dust.

Eat the Right Food

Don’t skip meals—an empty stomach increases the risk of absorbing lead dust. Foods high in iron and calciumcan also help lower your child’s lead poisoning risk.

Use Lead-safe Cleaning

Wet-mop with detergent and water at least three times a week. Take your shoes off when inside. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA Filter. And wash your child’s toys daily.

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