The week of October 23rd, 2022 marks National Lead Poisoning Awareness Week. This campaign is a call to bring together individuals, organizations, industry, and state, tribal, and local governments to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness in an effort to reduce exposure to lead. Lead is especially dangerous for children, being that their growing bodies tend to absorb more lead than adults. Despite this, it is important that people of all ages are informed about the effects that lead can have on health. Read to learn more about how crucial it is to be aware of lead poisoning.
Learn about Lead
Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth's crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals, causing health effects. Lead can be found in all parts of our environment, though most of our exposure comes from human activities, such as the use of fossil fuels and past use of lead paint in homes. Many common products in the
home and work include lead, like pipes, batteries, and cosmetics.
Who is at Risk?
Lead can be dangerous for those of all ages, but it affects these individuals in a variety of ways.
Children: lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Children may be exposed to lead bu putting their hands or mouth on objects that have lead, or by eating and drinking food or water containing lead.
Adults: Although adults are likely exposed to lead through eating and drinking, there are specific concerns when it comes to the workplace. Some renovations or repair work that disturbs painted surfaces in older homes and buildings may expose an individual. Working in a job where lead is used can increase exposure as well.
The Health Effects of Lead
Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body.
Children: even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. In rare cases, ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
Adults: Adults exposed to lead can suffer from cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Simple steps like keeping your home and work area clean will go a long way in preventing lead exposure.. Lower the chances of exposure to lead by taking these steps:
Address water damage quickly and completely.
Keep your home and work area clean and dust-free.
Clean debris out of outlet screens or faucet aerators on a regular basis.
Use only cold water to prepare food and drinks.
Flush water outlets used for drinking or food preparation.
Learn more at the United States Environmental Protection Agency website.