(Victor Valley)– Did you know that lead poisoning can affect the health and educational outcomes of children? Blood lead levels as low as 5mcg/dL has been known to cause serious health problems in children, including a drop in their “IQ”, behavior disorders and learning disabilities. October 21st through 27th is National Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.
Based on data from the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, 2010; 23,754 children and youth (under 21 years of age) were identified with blood lead levels equal or greater than 5mcg/dL, in California. A total of 963 of those children and youth were from San Bernardino County. These levels are high enough to cause significant health risks to their health. There are no known safe blood lead levels.
In the County of San Bernardino, lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 and lead-contaminated dust and soil are the main sources of lead exposure for children. Children get lead poisoning by ingesting lead-contaminated dust, paint chips from deteriorating lead-based paint, and lead-contaminated soil. Other sources of lead include lead dust brought home on parents’ clothes, certain imported ceramic pottery, painted objects, traditional home remedies, and imported candies and food products. Additionally, parents engaging in activities that require contact with lead products, such as soldering, making stained glass, and handling bullets or fishing sinkers, can place children at risk.
The only way to know for sure if a child has lead poisoning is to have the child’s blood tested for lead. If your child is 1 to 6 years old, talk to your doctor about testing your child for lead at his or her next visit. Fortunately, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
For more information about Lead Poisoning, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, at 1 (800) 722-3777.