National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Is October 25–31, 2020
Each year National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is a call to bring together individuals, organizations, industry, and state and local governments to raise awareness of lead poisoning prevention and reduce childhood exposure to lead.
This year’s NLPPW highlights the many ways parents can reduce their children's exposure to lead and prevent the serious health effects of lead. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, works to raise awareness, provide resources, and encourage preventive actions to decrease childhood lead exposure during the week and beyond.
Basic Lead Poisoning Information
Lead poisoning occurs when lead enters the bloodstream and builds up to toxic levels. Many different factors such as the source of exposure, length of exposure, and underlying susceptibility (e.g., child’s age, nutritional status, and genetics) affect how the body handles foreign substances. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Here are important facts to know about lead exposure and its potentially harmful effects.
- Lead is a toxic element, especially in young children. When absorbed into the body, it can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems.
- Lead poisoning is preventable! The key is preventing children from coming into contact with lead.
- Lead can be found inside and outside the home. The most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Children can be exposed by swallowing or breathing in lead dust created by old paint that has cracked and chipped, eating paint chips, or chewing on surfaces coated with lead-based paint, such as window sills.
- There are simple steps that can be taken to protect family members from lead-based paint hazards in the home, such as regularly cleaning the home, washing children’s hands and toys often, and wiping shoes before entering the home.
- If you live in a house built before 1978, a certified inspector or risk assessor can be hired to check your home for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards.
- Lead can also be found in drinking water. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures.
- Other examples of possible sources of lead include some metal toys or toys painted with lead-based paint, furniture painted with lead-based paint, metal-containing jewelry, imported items (e.g., health remedies, foods and candies, cosmetics, powders, or make-up used in religious ceremonies), and lead glazed pottery or porcelain.
Check out our new Your Insider in Government Affairs posted in support of NLPPW.