Lead and Your Health - Free Information from EHSO

WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY CHILD AND FAMILY?

The Federal Government has undertaken a broad range of education and prevention efforts. The Centers for Disease Control is one of the leaders in the community public health effort; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is doing much of the needed research to make the public health effort work.  The purpose of all these efforts is to reduce the number of people injured by lead.

Know what and where the lead is in your environment.

Ask your community health department about lead in your tapwater for drinking and cooking. If the health department thinks there's reason to be concerned, have your water tested.

Meanwhile, if your house is fairly new but was built before 1986, before the ban on lead solder for water pipes, flush the water lines by opening the spigot for a minute or two before drawing water for morning coffee or cooking or drinking.

If your house is more than 15 years old, it may have once had lead-based paint on it. Ask your community health department how to test the surfaces a child can reach to see if there's lead in paint there. Seal sound surfaces with fresh paint.

cleaning If you need to repair or remove lead-painted surfaces, get a professional who is trained to do the work safely. Keep your child away from the area during the work and if you're pregnant, stay away, too. Your Child's DoctorThe area should be wet mopped by the removal workers often during the job. Check with your local health department for information on how to have the leaded paint removed safely.

If you have any doubts about your child's possible exposure to lead, see the doctor and ask whether your child should be tested.

Your child's doctor knows how to get the test done and the doctor can tell you what you need to do, if anything, when the test comes back.

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