Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. Even when exposed to small amounts of lead levels, children may appear inattentive, hyperactive and irritable. Children with greater lead levels may also have problems with learning and reading, delayed growth and hearing loss. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings (built before 1950) are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Some children may eat or swallow chips of paint (pica) which increases their risk of exposure to lead. Adults who work with batteries, home renovations or in auto repair shops also may be exposed to lead.
Lead exposure is one of the most common preventable poisonings of childhood. Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show that 6% of all children ages 1-2 years and 11% of black (non-Hispanic) children ages 1-5 years have blood lead levels in the toxic range. Lead is a potent poison that can affect individuals at any age. Children with developing bodies are especially vulnerable because their rapidly developing nervous systems are particularly sensitive to the effects of lead.
While treatment is available for lead poisoning, some simple precautions can help prevent it….and that’s where Household Guardians comes in!
* Information from Mayo Clinic and American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry