What is Lead poisoning?
- Childhood lead poisoning occurs when children have too much lead in their bodies
- Lead is a heavy metal and its ” high density, low melting point, ductility and relative inertness to oxidation make it useful. These properties, combined with its relative abundance and low cost, resulted in its extensive use in construction, plumbing, batteries, bullets and shot, weights, solders, pewters, fusible alloys, white paints, leaded gasoline, and radiation shielding. “
How do children become lead poisoned?
- Lead poisoning is usually caused by lead paint found in homes built before 1978. Many of the homes in Scott County were built before 1978.
- The most common method of poisoning is ingestion (eating):
- lead paint chips
- Dusty or dirty hands, toys, bottles, or pacifiers
- Chewing surfaces with lead paint
- Playing in dirt or sandboxes near an old building or where an old building was torn down
- The second most common method of poisoning is inhalation (breathing in):
- Breathing in dust from lead paint that is being sanded, scraped, or removed with a heath gun
There are no known safe levels of lead in the body
What Does a Lead Poisoned Child look like?
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Children
- Low level poisoning examples:
- low impulse control
- trouble hearing
- smaller than other kids of similar age
- High level poisoning examples:
- All low level poisoning examples
- difficulty keeping up with other kids
- It is recommended that children be tested every year up until age 6
- There are two methods of testing Blood Lead Levels:
- Capillary draw (finger prick) – this method uses very little blood and is fast. Though quick, if lead is detected, a venous draw will then need to be taken to confirm elevated levels
- Venous draw (blood draw) – This is the preferred method of testing Blood Lead Levels as it requires only one draw.