Lead Poisoning Prevention
The Problem of Lead Poisoning in NY State and Ontario County
Lead poisoning is still a problem for children in Ontario County because many of our older homes were painted with lead based paints. In 1978 lead based paints were removed from the market.
The ingestion of lead contaminated dust, paint, and soil is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in lead glazed or painted pottery, ammunition, fishing sinkers, stained glass solder, batteries, imported foods, candy, .
Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years of age are at greatest risk of exposure to lead because they are apt to put fingers, hands, and toys in their mouths. Small children are eye level with window sills where lead paint could be lurking. They are at risk for lead poisoning if they chew on these areas or inhale lead-tainted dust created when windows are opened and closed. Children whose families are in the process of remodeling homes built or painted prior to 1978, are at increased risk for exposure to lead.
What can you do to protect your child from becoming lead poisoned?
- Wash your child’s hands often before nap time, meals, and bedtime.
- Wet dust and wet mop your home. Throw away the wet paper towel after dusting.
- Take appropriate precautions when starting .
- Feed your children a diet high in whole wheat breads, eggs, meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, and dark green vegetables. These types of foods help protect children’s bodies from becoming lead poisoned.
Lead poisoning has no initial symptoms but can lead to decreased IQ, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and anemia. The only way to find out if your child is lead poisoned is to have his blood tested for lead. This should be done at the ages of one and two years of age.If you are worried about exposure to lead in your home, check out the Lead Poisoning Home Checklist. If you answer yes to any of the questions found there, contact Ontario County Public Health at 1(800)299-2995.
Click on pamphlets below to read:
Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center
New York State Department of Health