The nicer weather of spring and summer brings along an increased risk for childhood lead poisoning. The most common source of lead poisoning is lead paint and/or lead dust. Childhood lead poisoning remains a concern for families living in older homes. Lead dust is created when lead paint becomes damaged, starts to chip or peel, or during home repairs. You cannot see lead dust.
Many parents are unaware that their children may have been in contact with lead paint or lead dust. Young children are especially at risk because they put their hands and nonfood items into their mouth. Children with lead poisoning usually do not look sick. If lead poisoning is left untreated, it can cause learning, growth, and behavioral problems. New York State requires doctors to test all children at age one and again at age two with a blood test to check for lead poisoning.
The Onondaga County Health Department’s Lead Program is offering FREE home inspections to families to prevent lead poisoning before it happens.
Families are eligible for a FREE home inspection, if they:
- Rent a home that was built before 1960 (we can check the age for you),
- Have a home with chipping and peeling paint,
- Have a child under the age of 7 who lives at or regularly visits the property or there is a pregnant woman living in the home.
Childhood lead poisoning is preventable. Call the Onondaga County Health Department’s Lead Poisoning Control Program at 435-3271, today to find out if:
- Your child needs a lead test,
- Your home can have a lead inspection, or
- You are eligible for a lead home repair grant.
— Column submitted by Ann Barnett, Public Health Educator with Onondaga County Health Department