CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION
There is no safe level of lead. The most important step is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs.
LEAD EXPOSURE: RISKS AND EFFECTS
Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health. Lead can increase the likelihood of:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Slowed growth and development
- Learning and behavior problems
- Hearing and speech problems
Young children are at risk for lead poisoning because they are growing rapidly and tend to put their hands or other objects, which may be contaminated with lead dust, into their mouths.
Sources of lead for children may include:
- Paint in houses built before 1978 when lead-based paint in housing was banned. Peeling or cracked paint can create lead dust which children can swallow or breathe.
- Lead brought into homes through family members who have hobbies or work that may involve working with lead, such as making fishing sinkers, home renovation, auto repair, welding, or construction. Family members may bring lead into the home on their clothing.
- Jewelry, toys, lead-glazed pottery used for food, and folk medicine made in other countries.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
|Is Your Child At Risk For Lead Poisoning? These are lead risk questions for families of children under age 6 years. These questions may help to identify possible lead hazards in a child’s home or other place where a child regularly visits. If a child has a lead risk, a blood test may be needed. Most children with high blood lead levels have no symptoms.
A “YES” or “DON’T KNOW” to any item indicates a lead risk. Ask your doctor about a blood lead test.
|Keep Your Keiki Lead-Free is a brochure with tips for families about preventing children from being exposed to lead.|
Prevent Children’s Exposure to Lead – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lead Exposure: Steps to Protect Your Family – American Academy of Pediatrics
Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home – Environmental Protection Agency
How is Your Child Developing? – DOH Hi‘ilei Hawaii
RESOURCES FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
- Lead risk questions for families of children under age 6 years in Hawaii
- Guidelines for lead testing/screening and follow-up for children under age 6 years in Hawaii
DOH Safe Drinking Water Branch – Lead in rainwater catchment
American Academy of Pediatrics – Lead Exposure and Lead Poisoning
The maps show the variation by geographic communities for:
- Percent children tested with elevated blood lead levels >= 5 mcg/dL (by county)
- Percent population below 100% Federal Poverty Level
- Percent housing structures built before 1960
ABOUT THE HAWAII CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION PROGRAM (HI-CLPPP)
The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for childhood lead poisoning prevention. More information is provided in the Project Summary.
DOH News Release 10/4/17: Hawaii Department of Health awarded $361K in funding for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention efforts.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Hawaii Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Children with Special Health Needs Branch
Hawaii State Department of Health
741 Sunset Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816