Facts about Lead Poisoning|
In the United States, about 900,000 children ages 1 to 5 have a blood-lead reading above the level of concern according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies. If not detected early, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system along with behavioral and learning problems such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches.
Although lead is more dangerous to children, it is also harmful to adults and can cause difficulties during pregnancy, reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain, according to the EPA.
You can get lead in your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead. According to the EPA, lead can be found in or around the following:
If you suspect that your home has lead hazards, have it inspected by a certified lead-based paint professional to ensure the assessment is performed properly and safely.
To reduce your child’s exposure to lead, consult with your doctor for advice on testing. A blood test can detect high levels of lead and your doctor can explain the results and whether more testing is needed.