Childhood Lead Poisoning

Many parents may not be aware that lead poisoning is still a very serious risk for children. It is, in fact, the number one preventable environmental health threat to children in the U.S. today. Lead poisoning is a risk for people of all ages, but it is especially dangerous for children. Hispanic children are at the highest risk for childhood lead poisoning. Elimination childhood lead poisoning is a national goal, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is currently running a childhood lead poisoning awareness campaign. Watch the Public Service Announcement in English or in Spanish.

Dangers of Childhood Lead Poisoning

Exposure to even a small amount of lead can cause damage in children, especially children under seven years old. Consequences of low levels of lead in the blood can include:

  • Lower IQ
  • Learning problems
  • Learning problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Behavioral problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Slowed growth
  • Anemia

How Kids are Exposed

Houses built before 1978 are the most likely to contain lead-based paint. It only takes a tiny amount of paint dust to poison your child. Dust from lead paint is most often found in areas where the paint is most likely to be worn, such as window sills, door frames, stairs and porches.

Soil may be contaminated from exterior paint and from old spills of lead-based gasoline. Lead may also be found in your plumbing where it can contaminate drinking and bathing water.

Renovation, Repair and Painting

Lead dust is easily created during renovations and repairs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule that requires contractors to be trained and certified in lead-safe practices if they perform work that disturbs lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, or pre-schools.

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