Lead can have a very serious and permanent effect on a child’s growth and development. It can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, hearing damage, language or speech delays, and lower intelligence. Identifying sources of lead in your child’s environment is the best way to prevent lead poisoning.
Lead dust – the most common way children get lead into their bodies – can come from peeling or chipping paint, worn painted floors and stairs, opening and closing old, painted windows, and repair projects that disturb old paint. Lead dust collects on surfaces where children put their hands and play with toys. Children, especially those under age 3, often put their hands and toys in their mouths. This makes it very easy for lead dust to get into and damage their growing bodies.
The first step toward protecting your child from lead poisoning is to test your home for lead. Free lead dust test kits are available. They can be ordered at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/eohp/lead/lead-kit-request.html. They are simple to use, and the results are mailed in approximately two weeks. If there is a lead dust problem, an expert will call you to talk about what to do to solve the problem.
For more information on lead poisoning prevention, visit http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/eohp/lead/index.shtml.[ published on June 24, 2015 under WC:OC's Blog ]