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Metro Newsroom

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is Oct 21st-27th

Friday October 19, 2012

Media Contacts:
Debbie Belt, 574-6587/303- 6167
Phil Miller, 574-1901

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is Oct 21-27
Local efforts focus on risk of lead poisoning of children

To help prevent childhood lead poisoning, the Lead-Safe Louisville Project (LSL) is promoting awareness as part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), Oct. 21-27. This year’s theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future”, emphasizes the importance of testing your children and home – to prevent the serious health effects of lead poisoning.

Key risk factors are chipping and/or peeling paint on doors, windows, woodwork and/or exterior siding. Children under 6 years of age are particularly prone to lead poisoning in such environments. Lead poisoning can cause nervous system and kidney damage, learning disabilities, speech problems, behavioral problems, hearing damage, decreased muscle and bone growth, seizures and even death (with high levels of lead).

Houses and apartments built before 1978 are most likely to have lead-based paint which can create a hazard to those living there. Louisville Metro’s Lead-Safe Louisville Project offers a few preventative measures to help decrease lead poisoning in children:
  • Inspect your home’s painted surfaces on a regular basis. Look for chipping and/or peeling paint on both exterior and interior painted surfaces.
  • Wipe horizontal surfaces (i.e., window sills, window troughs, baseboards) with a clean, damp cloth. Mop floors often; use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. (Remember do not use the same cloth or sponge to clean dishes.)
  • Good nutrition helps protect against lead poisoning. Vitamin C, iron and calcium help prevent the body’s absorption of lead.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Be sure all family members wash hands after playing, before and after eating, and before preparing meals and snacks. Always wash garden food before eating.
  • Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing formula. Run the hot water for at least 30-60 seconds before use; 2-3 minutes if it has not been used in several hours. (If your home has old pipes have water tested by the Water Company.)
  • Make sure toys or pacifiers that fall on the floor get washed right away.
  • Leave a washable rug or bristle mat at the each entrance into your home for people to leave their soiled shoes. This prevents possible tracking of lead dust into the house from lead contaminated soils.
  • If someone in your home works with lead, either at work or as a hobby, (i.e., construction, plumbing, abatement, battery making, car repair, furniture refinishing) clothing and shoes should be removed before entering the home. Clothing should be washed separately from the family laundry.
  • Use a certified professional to perform a lead inspection and risk assessment on your home and soil. You cannot identify lead by appearance and lead dust is invisible to the eye. The only way to know for sure is to your home tested by a professional.

Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children. Undetected, lead poisoning causes irreversible damage in children, especially to those under age 6. To draw attention to the risk factors, the Lead-Safe Louisville (LSL) Project, a program of the Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization, is partnering with several national organizations including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote lead awareness during National Lead Week.

Citizens interested in learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects can contact Lead-Safe Louisville at 502/574-4377, by visiting our webpage by clicking here, or may pick up information in the lobby of the Urban Government Center at 810 Barret Avenue.  LSL Project is federally funded through the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. (Federal HUD Grant #KYLHB0445-09).

Information provided from: Protect Your Child from Lead: A Parents Handbook