Disclosure: This should not be used as a form of treatment or diagnose any disease or condition. This post is used as an educational reference and resource to promote awareness of lead poisoning.
There has been a local lead coalition that has recently started here in Ohio, and there’s several more across the United States. Our host talked about the woman who started an organization for those who have experienced lead poisoning and had problems finding help to about the issue. She even had the opportunity to talk to President Obama when he was here at our local college! She opened his [the president’s] eyes that lead paint and other lead issues are still a problem in the US, which lead to an advancement of government assistance for this problem. Although lead paint is not used in paint and toys anymore there’s still homes, apartments, daycares, and schools that may still contain lead paint.
There are federal grants available to assist landlords and homeowners at little or no cost to them. The program will send an inspector to inspect your house, apartment or building if you qualify. You’ll want to check with your state as well as local city to see if there’s an organization to assist you with any concerns you may have. In my local county, we have received federal funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to address these issues.
Here are some important issues you might want to consider if you think you have a risk for lead poisoning:
- Do you live in a house built before 1978?
- Have you and your children been tested for lead exposure before?
- Have you had a lead level higher than 10 in the past? (New level is 5)
- Have you considered or remodeled your home or facility?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions you might want to test your home for lead. Lead poisoning can affect anyone; it has no income level, race, gender or age, however those who are at a lower income level are more at risk. It is just not our homes but it is facilities and other places that we and our children visit and spend time at such as your; job, school, daycare or a family member’s house. I highly recommended ask your family and other places you and your children visit to be tested for lead problems.
The signs of lead poisoning may not always be as noticeable like other diseases or disorders. Children and adults who have lead poisoning may seem and act healthy but in actuality they are very sick. Lead poisoning is very dangerous and can be fatal in some cases. The effects of lead poisoning are irreversible, and the poisoning can be from injecting orally or inhaling paint particles. It is extremely important for those who are remodeling to get tested for any lead disturbances that may be in the home or facility. Here is a list of common signs of lead poisoning:
- Tiredness or loss of energy
- Irritability or crankiness
- Reduced attention span
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Reduced attention span
- Trouble sleeping
- Aches or pains in stomach
Doctors can commonly mistreat these symptoms for other common illness, it is extremely important to get tested very few years for lead even when you are an adult. Overexposure will lead to several health issues including:
- Brain damage and lower intelligence
- Behavior and learning problems
- Impaired speech and language
- Slowed growth
- Kidney and liver damage
- Hearing damage
When you get tested know your numbers! New regulations state that any level more than 5 is considered dangerous (the old number used to be 10). If your doctor hasn’t checked your child yet inquire about it testing WILL save a life!
Lead still can affect and be dangerous to adults as well. Adults can pass it to your child(ren) by bringing it home due to a workplace or other environmental exposures. There are many symptoms an adult can experience from new or prolonged exposure to lead:
- Brain and nervous system damage
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Kidney problems
- Reproductive system problems
- Hearing, vision and muscle coordination problems
If you are concerned about your lead levels, or possibly your home or a place your children visit may be contaminated please check out the EPA’s website here. There’s a map on there which will direct you to your state’s department of health to find more information about services and places that can help you test your house for possible poisonings. Together with awareness and education can help prevent future exposures for generations to come.