WCDPHE Recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Published on October 21, 2021
Weld County — The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) is pleased to recognize National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 24-30, 2021. A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the goal of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is to empower families and other stakeholders to take action against lead exposure.
About 3.3 million American households, including 2.1 million low-income households, have children under 6 years of age who live in homes with lead exposure hazards. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure can impair a child’s cognitive development. Children with blood lead levels can experience delayed growth and development, damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, and a host of other health-related problems. There is no safe blood lead level in children.
Lead can be found inside and outside the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around the house. The most common source of exposure for children, however, 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 lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs, or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, windowsills, eating paint chips, soil that contains lead, or other places.
Children also can become exposed to lead dust from adults’ jobs or hobbies and 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.
The problem is largely preventable with increased testing, education, and a focus on prevention. One of the most valuable resources to help residents and housing professionals nationwide is the National Lead Information Center, 1-800-424-LEAD. More information is also available from the CDC and the WCDPHE Lead Program.