Children and lead Poisoning
Children can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing dust that contains lead. Even small amounts can be harmful, slowing growth and development. The effects of lead poisoning can be with a child throughout life.
How can lead poisoning affect my child?
- Reading and learning problems
- lowered intelligence
- behavior problems
- brain damage
- slowed growth
- kidney and liver damage
Where to lead hazards come from?
Homes built before 1979 may have lead paint. If the paint is chipping, peeling or chalking it may be a problem. Windows, doors, steps, and porches are areas where surfaces rub together to make lead dust.
Lead dust is the main source of lead poisoning. Lead dust mixes with household dust and can gather on surfaces, in carpets, and on toys. Home repairs and remodeling can create large amounts of lead dust if not done correctly.
Soil around homes and apartment buildings may contain lead. Children may come into contact with lead by playing in bare dirt. Lead in the soil may get on vegetables if planted in the garden.
Older pipes may contain lead. When water sits in the pipes it absorbs and picks up lead. If this happens, the water you use for drinking, cooking or mixing baby formula can cause lead poisoning.
Toys, makeup, ceramic pottery, lead crystal and pewter items can contain lead. It is important to know where your household items are coming from.
Work and Hobbies
Lead can be brought into the home from certain workplaces such as miners, people who remodel homes and painters OR from certain hobbies like making stained glass, fishing with lead sinkers or from bullets.
If you worry your child may have been exposed to lead, talk to your doctor to have have your child tested.
For more information, visit the Utah Lead Coalition's website.