09:00 AM

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 20-26, 2013

Nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The estimate is based on children with a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher using data from national surveys conducted in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. Major sources of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil.

Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. Unfortunately, resources at the state levels have decreased making it important for health care professionals and parents to be proactive in ensuring a lead safe environment.

To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, Children's Mercy Hospital, along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 20-26.

Parents can reduce a child's exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:

  • Get your Home Tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.
  • Get your Child Tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead. 
  • Get the Facts! Your local health department can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Contact them in Kansas and Missouri depending on where you live.

For information on how to have your home evaluated for lead, contact  the Children's Mercy Center for Environmental Health at 816-960-8919, or the Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at 1-800-421-9916 or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

For more information on lead poisoning prevention visit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.