Lead testing is recommended for children 1 to 6 years of age and adults who are exposed to high lead levels through their work such as; painters, auto repair workers, galvanizers, plumbers, and other professions. Young children often put objects in their mouths, increasing their risk of lead exposure. Today, at least four million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. Lead based paint, often found in homes built before 1978, continues to be the most wide-spread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure in young children. Other exposures can occur from contaminated soil and parents that unintentionally bring lead home from their work. Adults who are exposed to high lead levels through their work such as; painters, auto repair workers, galvanizers, plumbers, and other professions, are also encouraged to have their blood lead level tested.
Lead exposure can cause irreversible damage, such as:
Damage to the brain and nervous system
Slowed growth and development
Learning and behavior problems
Learning and speech problems
Loup Basin Public Health Department is partnering with Nebraska DHHS’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. This program has successfully assisted with lowering many children’s blood lead levels by educating parents and encouraging follow-up testing so that no child is forgotten. The program tracks every child who has had their blood levels tested. For parents of children with elevated blood levels, education is provided so that parents know the lead hazards in their environments and how to lower those exposure risks.
To learn more about lead poisoning, additional resources can be found at:
Environmental Protection Agency
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services