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> Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2015

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For more information contact:
Theresa Lyczko at 274-6600


Lead Poisioning Prevention Week, October 26–October 31

Ithaca, N.Y., October 21, 2015 — 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.

The theme of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week this year is Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future. It underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your children, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. These may include a lower IQ, hearing loss, kidney disease, and growth problems.

Major sources of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in homes and buildings built before 1978. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including take-home exposures from a workplace, lead in soil, and exposure to paint dust from renovation of antique and used furniture. Some traditional medicines and ointments used by East Indian, Indian, Middle Eastern, West Asian and Hispanic cultures may also contain lead.

Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning prevention is preventable. Melissa Gatch, Supervising Community Health Nurse at the Tompkins County Health Department notes children with reported elevated blood levels are monitored. “We help parents identify sources of lead that may have been the cause of the lead poisoning and we provide education on prevention and testing.” She also said that all parents are encouraged to have their children’s blood tested for lead at ages one and two. Testing is done by the child’s health care provider.

In observance of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Cornell student volunteers as part of the “Into the Streets” service program will distribute information in the South side neighborhood in the City of Ithaca on Saturday, October 24.

For more information on lead poisoning prevention, go to the Tompkins County Health Department website:

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