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A Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen & Home: Keeping the Lead Out

Keep the area clean where children play. Photo from Pixabay

Keep the area clean where children play.
Photo from Pixabay

The dangers of lead still exist today! Lead is a poison to the human body. Children up to about age 6, while their bodies and brains are actively developing, are particularly susceptible to the adverse effect of lead. It’s easy for children to become lead poisoned. They simply repeatedly touch dirt or dust that’s contaminated with lead and put their fingers or the dirty objects in their mouths. A toddler might swallow flecks of chipped paint that contain large amounts of lead.

Lead paint was banned for residential use in 1978, but homes built before that had interior paint containing lead are still a concern.

Lead Hurts the Mind and Body

  • Lead can cause problems that make it hard for your child to learn.
  • It can cause health problems and even kill.
  • Babies exposed to lead before birth may be born too small or too early.
  • The harm from lead may never go away.

What can you do to Prevent Lead Poisoning?

  • Keep your children from eating paint chips, dust or dirt.
  • Clean dust with a wet mop or wet cloth, not with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Wash children’s hands and toys often.
  • Keep the area clean where children play.
  • If you work around lead, avoid bringing lead dust into your home.
  • Have children play in a sandbox instead of in the dirt. First, check to be sure the sand does not have any lead in it.
  • If you live in an older home and are unsure if it has any lead paint/dust, there are some kits you can get to test lead in your home.
  • These tests can be fairly reasonable in price and can be bought at most hardware stores.
  • The only way to get rid of lead in your home is to eliminate lead dust hazards. It is best to have this done by professionals and not live in the home while any removal is done.

Healthy Eating is Important

  • It is important to make sure your child has a well-balanced diet to get all the vitamins and minerals they need.
  • Eating food high in iron, calcium, and zinc is important.
  • When a child lacks iron, calcium, and zinc, their bodies will be more likely to absorb lead.
  • Limit your child from eating lots of foods that are high in fat because fat helps lead to absorb in the body

Have your Child Tested for Lead

  • Every child under the age of six needs to be tested. This simple blood test may be done at the doctor’s office and or a local health clinic.
  • Pregnant women need to be tested, too.

References:

  1. Information for the ‘Clean, Safe, Healthy Kitchen and Home’ factsheets were adopted from:
  2. ‘A Clean, Safe, Healthy Home’ curriculum developed by Clemson University Faculty and Staff, 1994.
  3. Additional information was adopted from:
  4. https://www.fightbac.org
  5. South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control, office of External Affairs

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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