Lead poisoning used to be one of the most common illnesses found in children. Since the 1990’s we have reduced the number of causes, but we can still work on preventing lead poisoning. Not only is the lead poisoning getting better, it is also entirely preventable. Children who experience lead poisoning can suffer permanent health problems affecting the brain and nervous system. This year, National Lead Poisoning week takes place during October 25th through the 31st. Here are some facts about lead and four help tips to prevent lead poisoning from happening to your child.
Lead Facts According to the World Health Organization:
- Lead is a cumulative toxin that affects multiple body systems. Lead can be found in soil, water and homes (i.e. found in paint, older toys, doors, gasoline, etc.).
- Lead is commonly used because it is easy to extract and work with.
- There are approximately 600,000 new cases of lead poisoning found in children each year.
- Lead can affect the brain, liver, kidneys and bones. Eventually lead can build up in teeth and bones which can then cause it to get into the blood stream. When lead gets into the blood stream it can reduce the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the organs causes anemia.
- No level of lead poisoning is safe, BUT lead poisoning is preventable.
4 steps to prevent lead poisoning according to Parents.com:
1.Wash hands and toys: Many kids constantly put their toys and hands in their mouths. If they touch a surface with lead in it, the lead can get into the child’s body easily. This is why one of the easiest ways to prevent lead poisoning is from washing hands and toys on a regular basis. With clean hands and toys, the likelihood of a child getting lead poisoning decreases tremendously.
2. Evaluate home environment: Many household items consist of lead. For example paint, toys, windows, and more (especially for older homes). To reduce the likelihood of lead poisoning occurring, have a professional come out and evaluate your home or perform a home test.
3. Check dirt: Even though the amount of lead products has reduced since the 1990’s, lead can still get into the soil from build up over time or from chips of old, peeling, lead-based paint (Illinois Poison Center). Many lead levels range from 300 parts per million (ppm) to 600 ppm. This amount still causes severe illnesses and symptoms when found under fingernails, on toys or into your child’s mouth. It is important to get your soil checked out from a professional or home kit to make sure that your soil does not contain high levels of lead.
4. Filter your Water: Lead is one the harmful chemicals that can be found in your drinking water. An easy way to prevent lead poisoning from getting into your water is through regularly changing your water filter. Water filters help reduce the amount of lead found in water by over 90 percent. To purchase discount water filters for your fridge use our fridge filter finder.
As you can see lead poisoning is preventable. The best way to prevent lead poisoning is to be aware of the products it can exist in and to be prepared on the actions to take. To find out more about Lead Poisoning week and the effects of lead, go to http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/nlppw.htm.