Lead poison may affect and harm young children and babies even prior to birth. Seemingly healthy children can still have high lead levels. Typically lead enters the body when young children ingest lead paint chips or lead dust or contaminated soil. Lead paint chips are sweet and young children ingest those chips.
Generally lead poison is found in older homes. Prior to 1978 paint contained lead. Homes built before 1978 were painted with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was banned by the federal government in 1978. Lead poison can be found in the city, country, or suburbs; in private or public housing, inside or outside a home; on walls, on window sills or in the soil; on toys and furniture painted with lead-based paint.
If you suspect your home has lead-based paint you can have your home inspected and tested. Typically your local health department has a lead program with envirnmental experts who can test for home for contamination. If your health department does not have a local lead program then your state office may provide assistance and certainly you can hire private envirnmental companies experienced with testing homes for lead contamination.
If you suspect your child has been exposed or your child exhibits symtoms of lead poisoning, you should immediately take him or her to your family doctor for testing. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead.
Lead poison can effect almost every system in the body. If not detected early in children, it may cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and hearing problems, slowed growth, and headaces. In adults, it may harm the reproductive organs, and cause high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain.
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