National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: Oct 21-27
DPH Urges Parents To Test Young Children For Lead, Know And Fix Lead Hazards Around Your Home
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 21-27.
“This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, highlights the importance of testing your child, developing an awareness of lead paint hazards in your home and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects,” said Krista Veneziano, Supervisor of the DPH Lead, Radon and Healthy Homes Program.
NLPPW is dedicated to actions that address health effects of lead exposure and increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
According to the CDC, nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health. Major sources of lead exposure to children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources, including take-home exposures from a workplace and lead in soil.
Lead paint use was banned in the United States in 1978. While the prevalence and incidence rates of lead poisoned children in Connecticut have been decreasing over the past fifteen years, due to mandatory childhood screening and primary prevention efforts, the state’s housing stock is among the oldest in the country, and many houses still contain lead paint hazards that have the potential to poison children. DPH data shows that Black and Hispanic children in Connecticut are at greater risk of being lead poisoned. For everyone living in a home or apartment built before 1978, it is important to understand the steps that should be taken to protect children from lead poisoning.
Here are some simple things parents can do to help protect their family from lead exposure:
- Get Your Child Tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead. Mandatory screening is the law in Connecticut.
- Learn About Drinking Water. Water pipes in some older homes may contain lead solder where lead may leach out into the water.
- Understand the Facts! DPH can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning.
For more information visit ct.gov/preventlead, or for Spanish educational materials please visit ct.gov/plomo, or contact the DPH’s Lead, Radon and Healthy Homes Program at (860) 509-7299.