A major source of lead exposure for children is in the dust that flakes off of structures painted with lead based paint. This dust is poisonous and can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. It can also affect growth and development. Lead poisoning has also been associated with speech and hearing problems, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and preterm birth. Lead poisoning can even cause death if the exposure is at high enough levels.
According to Groundwork Ohio's Building the Way Healthier Future report, "We know that houses, public buildings, and commercial buildings built before 1978 have a high likelihood of containing a lead paint hazard. Children can be exposed to lead in many ways, including in drinking water, but most exposure happens when small children ingest lead dust by crawling on the floor, putting items in their mouths, playing outdoors on porches with deteriorated lead paint, or being in or around exposed contaminated soil."
Talk to your child's doctor about lead assessments or testing for your child. Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a risk assessment at the following well-child visits: 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, and at 3, 4, 5 and 6 years of age. The recommendation is to do a risk assessment, and do a blood lead level test only if the risk assessment comes back positive.
For more information or for help in your Ohio home contact:
Ohio Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection
Ohio Department of Health
35 E Chestnut St
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 1-877-LEADSAFE (532-3723)
American Academy of Pediatrics, https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/lead-exposure/Pages/Detection-of-Lead-Poisoning.aspx
Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection, https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/childhood-lead-poisoning
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/prevention/infographic-lead-in-environment.htm
Groundwork Ohio Building the Way Healthier Future report October 2020, https://6eb7e2d6-f367-4f08-8fc5-47c7fb17e65b.filesusr.com/ugd/a395ee_a5bad1d5d35a401188015fa75a750d5b.pdf
Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717
Ohio Department of Health https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/childhood-lead-poisoning