According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about 1 in 22 children in America have high levels of lead in their blood. Lead is known to impact children's intelligence and physical agility with the possibility of life-long effects.
Lead can be found in many places around your home, in childcare centers and schools. It can be found in the water, in dirt or in paint on walls. Because it does not break down naturally, lead can remain in the environment until it is cleaned up.
The older your home or school the more likely you are to find lead. Lead can enter your drinking water from the plumbing in your house. Older homes often have pipes that are held together with a product that contains lead and some very old home have pipes that were made from lead. Small amounts of lead still exist in the brass valves found in faucets sold today.
Putting lead in paint that is used for people's homes was not disallowed until 1978. If you live in a home built prior to 1978 it may contain lead-based paint and the older the home the more likely you are to find lead. Children can be exposed to lead by eating paint flakes that contain lead. However, the most common way children are exposed to lead from paint is in the form of paint dust. As paint deteriorates over time it generates a fine dust that collects in windowsills and in carpeting. Children then can get this dust on their hands and swallow it or breathe it.
Lead from paint on the outside of the home can also fall into the soil in paint dust. Another source of lead in the soil is from the Asarco smelter in Ruston. Smoke from this factory contained lead and arsenic that eventually settled in the soil. Lead found in soil can be tracked into your home on the bottom of shoes or by pets.
If you are concerned about health effects from lead you should check with your doctor who can help you decide if you should test your child's blood for lead. You may also want to test your water, dirt and paint in your home to see if they contain lead.For more information call (253) 798-2954 or email us.
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