“Be patient,” says Brandon Blache-Cohen. Brandon kind of talked me down a little bit. The good news is lead poisoning can be prevented. "I got mine, what's their problem? Lead harms a child's nervous system and is associated with reduced IQ, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and more. The Blache-Cohens had their youngest daughter’s blood lead level tested again this month, and found that it had dropped to 3 μg/L. The most common source of lead is from paint dust and chips from homes built before 1978. Other sources include soil, water, mining, ammunition, home remedies, spices, toys and hobbies. This is a time when children are putting things in their mouths,” she says. The problems caused by lead poisoning may be irreversible. Anemia puts the child at higher risk. Q: What can be done if tests show my child has an elevated blood lead level? Hacker says 80 percent of homes in Allegheny County were built before 1978 when the federal government banned the use of lead in paint. Her blood lead levels came back at 2 μg/L, well under the CDC action level. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet. We test the water, the dust and the soil, [and] we couple that with the child’s behavior to try to determine how that child ingested the lead.”, Hacker says parents will often want to completely get rid of all the lead paint in the house, but that scraping away old lead paint can do more harm than good. In most cases it's small amounts of lead consumed over time that build up and cause health problems. No matches were missing from the book. Ask your doctor to test your child for lead. There are approximately a half a million 1- to 5-year-olds with lead levels at or above the toxic threshold. It’s just an issue of keeping her out of it,” she says, pointing to a window jamb in the kitchen where layers of paint are peeling off. The only way to get rid of all that lead is for those people to move out and the buildings to be gutted and renovated or torn down entirely. When a child has a dangerously high blood lead level, health … According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anything above 5 μg/L is cause for concern. If paint peels, cracks, or is worn down, the chips and dust from the old lead paint can spread onto floors, windowsills, and all around your home. Lead poisoning can damage the growing brain and cause developmental delays. “They’re crawling around. ", New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the explainlikeimfive community. The mother of a 16-month-old boy called Poison Control because the boy was found sucking on a whole book of paper matches. How could you set a safe level for lead when you could not test for lead at that level? It is much more dangerous for children than adults because it affects kids’ developing brains and nervous systems. If you have lead paint, you will probably have some exposure. “We also do environmental sampling. They’re homes like Brandon and Erin Blache-Cohen’s 1924 craftsman in Squirrel Hill South. Many of the victims are children, who will not be able to live a "normal" life much less get a proper education (another $$ issue). One study found that adults who experienced lead poisoning as children had a significantly higher risk of hypertension 50 years later (relative to control adults without childhood lead exposure) [Hu 1991 as cited in ATSDR 2010]. It is a poor person's problem. Brandon kind of talked me down a little bit. Logistically it just isn’t possible. Lead sinkers and ammunition used by sportsmen have endangered whole species of birds and fish, as well as the waterways. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is to get your child tested. “Unless there are dangerously high lead levels, take care of what you can take care of, but don’t make yourself go crazy trying to figure out where she got it or how she got it.”. The most important step parents, doctors, and others can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs. If you have lead paint in your home, your first impulse might be to get rid of it. Does this mean that our daughter is going to have a lower IQ because of her exposure to lead?”, When Brandon and Erin Blache-Cohen renovated their 1924 craftsman in Squirrel Hill, they thought they were safe  having put a fresh coat of paint on every surface. Still, close to half a million children test positively for lead poisoning each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. I am concerned that my son might be in danger of lead poisoning. Also, stay up to date on toy recalls due to lead paint — you can get e-mail notifications from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. So we come from a history where lead spewed out of every automobile exhaust, was used in a quality paint, and was a major constituent of solder. Money. I think I immediately took to the internet to see what more we could read about it.” Erin says the internet wasn’t very helpful. The Blache-Cohens say they’re lucky, because they had the resources to make the needed changes in their home, and they know that not every family does. 1 in 40 children ages 1-5 years old have blood lead levels that are considered unsafe (over 5 µg/dL). You can consume that much every day for the rest of your life, and your body will process and dispose of it. It is imperative that treatment be started immediately if lead poisoning is suspected to reduce the long-term neurological effects. 1. This story is part of our series Hidden Poison, a public media partnership of The Allegheny Front, 90.5 WESA News, PublicSource and Keystone Crossroads. Loss of appetite is a classic symptom of lead poisoning in children, although this symptom alone may not raise concern for lead poisoning due to its non-specificity. A second test confirmed that the baby’s blood lead level was 9 micrograms per liter (μg/L). Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies. … The brain is the most sensitive. : ). Lead is a neurotoxin. There really is only one problem that hampers removing trace lead. Lead has no essential role in the human body, and lead poisoning accounts for about 0.6% of the global burden of disease. My children have lead poisoning and yours may too. Children can be exposed to lead through paint and dust in old homes and sometimes from local water supplies. “The primary source of lead is in the paint — in the dust.”. A lead test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Asbestos has the same story. It made excellent solder. Re-testing of a child, when blood lead levels are higher than 15, should be done every 1 to 3 months, to make sure the levels are not rising. Often not even two of three. Most people's risk of lead poisoning is very small as nowadays lead generally isn't used in paints, petrol or food containers. Just dump a little in the gasolene and the engine ran much better with more power. If you’re worried that there might be lead in your home, the first thing to do is find out the year it was built. But we don't because it costs money. Lead can affect other parts of the body as well as the central nervous system. Test your home for lead. Parents & Guardians can use this page to understand what an elevated test result means The U.S. government banned lead-based paints for use in housing in 1978. Other Potential Effects: Lower Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Lead has been linked to problems with the development and health of bones. Most homes built before 1978 have old lead paint, often under newer paint. We can now measure lead at very low levels. Damp mop floors and surfaces like windowsills often to remove lead. “What you don’t want to do is mobilize this stuff,” she says. Why is lead poisoning harmful for children? Great material properties and can't easily be lit on fire. In most cases it's small amounts of lead consumed over time that build up and cause health problems. We still have no idea what caused it or if we did anything to prevent future issues.”. Acute and chronic lead poisoning remain problems of enormous importance for child health and development worldwide. Lead poisoning can be prevented. High blood levels of lead (BLL) can affect the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, and with loss of appetite, the danger of nutrient deficiency is even greater. Lead poisoning can cause anemia, as well as problems with cognitive and physical development and behavior. In a retrospective study, a higher proportion of learning disabilities were found among school-aged children with biological parents who had lead poisoning as children 50 years previously [Hu 1991]. Lead poisoning can occur when lead enters the body. Removing the lead meant the engines had to be repaired more often. My kids, my Flint kids. Look carefully at windows and outdoor play areas. “Even in homes where the paint is very stable and it’s not chipping and it’s not dusting, [if] they go and they renovate something, during that process they’re mobilizing it as well.”. Have the paint on the interior and exterior of your home tested for lead if your house was built before 1978. Friction triggered an idea. The lead paint lasts a very long time and is safe as long as children are not so hungry they eat the paint. She started moving around on her own a lot more, waving and gesturing and recognizing her grandparents on FaceTime. If a child’s blood test shows that he or she has some lead in the blood, health care providers will typically provide the family with information on lead poisoning prevention, risk reduction, and nutritional counseling. Lead was used in solder. This type of paint was used in many U.S. homes until the late 1970s, when the government banned the manufacturing of paint containing lead. Lead paint poisoning study 02:38 PHILADELPHIA -- A new study of public health records has discovered 3,000 neighborhoods in America where children suffer from lead poisoning. It is going to take a long time to replace all the plumbing, and to eradicate the lead paint. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. The couple found all kinds of conflicting information about what they should do and what the impact might be on their daughter. 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