National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

The City of York – Bureau of Health is pleased to recognize National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 20 to 26, 2019. The City of York – Bureau of Health continues to raise awareness about the danger of lead exposure and poisoning and educates parents on how to reduce exposure to lead in their homes, prevent its serious health effects, and learn about the importance of testing children for lead.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a joint initiative of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

About 3.6 million households in the United States have children under 6 years of age who live in homes with exposure to lead hazards.  According to the CDC, about 500,000 children between the ages of 1 and 5 years have blood lead levels greater than or equal to the blood reference level (5 micrograms per deciliter of whole blood), the level at which CDC recommends public health action.

Lead can be found inside and outside of the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around the house.  However, the most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978.  Adults and children can get lead into their bodies by breathing in the lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, window sills, and other places, or eating paint chips or soil containing lead.

Children can also become exposed to lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies, from some metal toys or toys painted with lead-based paint. Children are not exposed equally to lead, nor suffer its consequences in the same way. These disparities unduly burden minority families and low-income families and their communities.

Being exposed to lead hazards is preventable.

For additional information, please read our September newsletter article which explains the Bureau of Health’s involvement with local lead initiatives

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