Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

QVHD conducts environmental investigations of premises where children with an elevated blood lead level have been found. Paint, dust, soil, and water samples are sent to the state laboratory for analysis. The property owner is required by law to abate lead from premises with toxic levels. In addition QVHD can identify lead hazards of all premises and ensure remediation is done using lead safe work practices.

Lead poisoning occurs when lead enters the bloodstream and builds up to toxic levels. Many different factors such as the source of exposure, length of exposure, and underlying susceptibility (e.g., child’s age, nutritional status, and genetics) affect how the body handles foreign substances. 

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. Public health actions are needed for these children. There is no safe blood lead level in children. 

• Lead is a toxic element, especially in young children. When absorbed into the body, it can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems.

• Lead poisoning is preventable! The key is preventing children from coming into contact with lead.

• Lead can be found inside and outside the home. The most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Children can be exposed by swallowing or breathing in lead dust created by old paint that has cracked and chipped, eating paint chips, or chewing on surfaces coated with lead-based paint, such as window sills.

o There are simple steps that can be taken to protect family members from lead- based paint hazards in the home, such as regularly cleaning the home, washing children’s hands and toys often, and wiping shoes before entering the home. 

o If you live in a home built before 1978, a certifed inspector or risk assessor can be hired to check your home for lead-based paint or lead hazards. If renting, ask your landlord to have your home or apartment tested.

o Lead can also be found in drinking water. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fxtures. 

National Lead Information Center The National Lead Information Center is a toll-free hotline, 1-800-424-LEAD (5323), that provides the general public and professionals with information about lead, lead hazards, and their prevention. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may call the Federal Relay Service’s teletype service at 1-800-877-8339. 

To learn more about lead prevention & lead abatement check out the NLPPW Partner Information Kit pdf icon[PDF – 1.9 MB]external icon  (en Español pdf icon[PDF – 1.5 MB]external icon) aims to help individuals, organizations, and state and local governments to work together to reduce childhood exposure to lead. 

(Source: CDC, 2021) 

To learn more

Connecticut Department of Public Health Lead Program

EPA Lead Poisioning is Preventable

EPA Renovation, Repair and Paint Program (RRP)

Lead Safe Work Practices