In the last 30 years, lead exposure in children has decreased, but continues to be the most common environmental disease in California children and the most preventable pediatric health problem. Even low lead exposure amounts can cause serious long term harm, including shortened attention span, aggressive behavior, learning disabilities, and other developmental problems for children.
Where is lead found?
Lead is commonly found in paint, dust and soil, often in and around home constructed prior to 1978, when the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint. In San Mateo County, 80% of housing units were built before 1978 and renovations to these pre-1978 units can disturb lead-based paint and create risks for children and pregnant women.
What is San Mateo County doing?
The County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program promotes prevention of lead poisoning and can help with case management and home investigations to help eliminate sources of lead for those who have detectable levels in their blood.
Here are some action items for you to keep your family lead free:
- Take a simple lead test. You can get one via your primary care provider.
- Keep your home clean and dust-free.
- Don’t let your child chew on painted surfaces or eat paint chips.
- Avoid hobbies and foods that may use lead. Lead can also be found in some imported foods, inexpensive metal jewelry, imported toys and even cosmetics.
For more information and additional resources, check out our website: http://smchealth.org/lead