Lead is a poison. Childhood lead poisoning is a major, serious BUT PREVENTABLE health problem. Young children crawl and play on the floor, and are always putting things in their mouths. These behaviors expose them to lead. Ingestion of lead is the main mode of exposure in children. Exposure to lead may cause negative and/or severe health effects that include delayed growth, reduced IQ, and learning and behavior problems for your child; and even during pregnancy to your unborn child.
Where can Lead be Found?
Lead is a poison and can be found in places and things we may not normally think as dangerous. The most common source of lead poisoning is found in chipping paint in houses built before 1978. But lead can be in other places, such as in contaminated dust, soil, and water. Lead can also be found in certain ceramic pots, toys, materials used in hobbies such as stained glass, certain imported cosmetics, and certain traditional folk medicines/remedies. Below you will find is a list of products that have been recalled because they contain lead.
Who is at risk?
Young children, especially from 6 months to 6 years, are most at risk for lead poisoning. However, Pregnant women and their unborn children are also at risk for lead poisoning. If you are pregnant, you should stay away from areas, foods and items that may contain lead. If you may have been exposed to lead, ask your doctor about getting tested.
In 2018, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services
CONDUCTED 37 Investigations regarding Lead Poisoning in Children
13 cases involved blood lead levels (BLL’s) of greater than or equal to 15ug/dl
17 cases involved blood lead levels (BLL’s) less than 15ug/dl
3 cases involved child day care centers
4 Secondary locations where the child spends > 8hrs./week
12 cases were issued Notice of Demands (NOD’s) for the discontinuance of conditions
condusive to lead poisoning, 5 Notice of Demand’s were satisfied
5 cases are currently undergoing lead based paint abatement activities
5 cases are undergoing legal action for failure to comply with NOD’s
In addition to lead based paint, other sources found to cause lead poisoning from these investigations include:
- Leaded glazes on pottery leaching into food
- The use of Kohl/Surma imported eye make-up, imported medications and herbs
- A child wearing a lead amulet bracelet
- Contaminated spices
What should you do to prevent lead poisoning?
Because lead poisoning is serious, New York State requires Health Care Providers to test all children for blood lead levels at ages 1 and 2, and up to age 6 based on risk assessment.
Talk to your doctor and have your child tested!
Lead paint is in old houses and sometimes in new toys.
Houses built before 1978 should be checked for Lead paint.
You should wash your hands immediatly if you come in contact with lead paint, soil and other sources.
For the latest in toy recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
If you suspect your house or apartment has lead, contact a lead inspector or your landlord.
To reduce blood lead levels, there are other steps you can take the following steps:
Contact the Suffolk County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to find out about home safety tools and recalls on items and toys, especially if your home was built before 1978.
Use a damp mop or cloth to clean surfaces in your home, and wash your child’s hands, pacifiers, and toys often to remove any lead.
Don’t use certain home remedies or cosmetics that contain lead. Examples of these include arzacon, greta, pay-loo-ah, kohl, and alkohl.
If something you do exposes you to lead, for example certain hobbies or your work, take simple steps such as changing your clothes before entering your house, or showering before when you arrive home. Keep contaminated clothes, boots, etc. out of the reach of your children.
Services Provided by the CLPPP as recommended by the New York State Department of Health
Case management when a child’s blood lead levels are elevated as recommended by the New York State Department of Health. Community outreach and education about lead poisoning and prevention to health providers and various homes and organizations.