Next week, October 21st ? 27th, is National Lead Poisoning Awareness Week.

You may wonder why lead is a subject that needs awareness in this day and age.? But, it is a very important issue for children that live in older homes or go to older schools — specifically, those built before 1978. Over two-thirds of all homes and schools in the USA were built before 1978 and have over 4 million kids living and learning in them.

Lead exposure in children

Lead exposure is the #1 environmental health hazard to children under the age of seven according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Kids are in high gear in neurological development until about age seven. Lead exposure can even be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, resulting in children being born with lead that remains in their bodies for a lifetime.? ?If lead enters their bodies, it gets absorbed into the bones and nervous system. The results are irreversible and completely preventable.

The negative consequences of lead exposure on educational attainment, crime, and prospects for a healthy, productive life have been studied for years, but recent research has uncovered the true extent of the chronic poisoning that leads to measurable IQ loss and ADHD/autism spectrum damage beginning at a lead blood level of 1.? The legal ?action level? requiring government intervention for a poisoned child has recently been lowered to 5, while cautioning that there is ?no known safe level? for lead in children’s bodies.

In a 1st grade class of 20, you can expect to find 14 children with chronic lead exposure, which leads to attention and behavior disorders as they grow.

Many parents are unaware their children may be at risk. Most people believe the lead problem was solved when lead paint and leaded gasoline were banned in the 70’s. However, toxic lead continues to poison kids today –and not just in low-income or public housing. It happens in the nicest of neighborhoods and homes! When families repair or remodel their older homes, the underlying leaded paint often gets exposed. Even opening and closing older windows can create invisible lead dust. Over time, children living in these homes can become lead poisoned or lead-afflicted.

Primary prevention of lead exposure is actually very straightforward.? Educating parents is the most effective weapon in the fight to end this epidemic that robs our children of their full potential.? Parents can follow simple housecleaning steps, like regular window sill cleaning where invisible lead dust accumulates, and require basic ?safe lead practices? that are often low-cost or ?no cost? when doing repair or renovation in their pre-1978 home.? In most cases, it is as simple as following the simple 3 C’s 😕 Control, Contain, and Clean the DUST!

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