Lead Poisoning Prevention
Lead Safe Web Resources Include:
Research shows NO amount of lead exposure is safe for children. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect learning and academic achievement. Lead can damage nearly every system in the human body and has harmful effects on both adults and children. The most concerning aspect of lead poisoning is that children may display no signs or symptoms of being lead poisoned; only a blood test. Visit our Lead Testing page for more information.
Lead exposure occurs when a child comes in contact with lead by touching, swallowing, or breathing in lead or lead dust. Evidence shows that childhood exposure to lead can cause long-term harm and the effects of lead exposure may be permanent. But if caught early there are things parents can do to prevent further exposure and reduce damage to their child’s health.
Research shows early interventions can improve academic outcomes for lead-exposed children. Lead poisoning is a disability. Lead poisoned children are eligible for special education services from any public or private school attended.
The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) advocates primary and secondary lead exposure prevention.
Primary prevention is the removal of lead hazards from the environment before a child is lead exposed. It is the most effective way to ensure that children do not experience harmful long-term effects of lead exposure.
Secondary prevention includes blood lead testing and follow-up care and referral. Testing children’s blood for lead is an essential safety net for those who may already be exposed to lead.
Ohio law requires primary health care providers to administer blood lead tests to: 1) ALL Medicaid children at age one and two, 2) children less than six years of age living in identified high risk zip codes, and 3) children ages three to six not previously tested.
The Ohio Department of Health determines high-risk zip code areas. The high-risk designation indicates children and adults living within that area are at increased risk of lead exposure. Unfortunately, all City of Springfield zip codes are classified as high-risk. Clark County high-risk zip codes include: 45502, 45503, 45504, 45505, 45506, 45324, 43078, 43140, and 45387.
Lead exposure in children is often difficult to see. Most children have no obvious immediate symptoms. If you think a child may have been exposed to lead, talk to their parent or guardian and suggest they talk to the child’s healthcare provider about getting a lead blood test. Lead blood testing is available at the Clark County Combined Health District and the procedure only takes 20 minutes! Lead blood testing is free for Medicaid recipients and many private insurance policies cover the cost.
To learn more about lead blood testing, and to schedule a lead blood test for you or your child, call 937-390-5600 or visit our Lead Testing page.
The GOOD news is lead poisoning is 100% preventable and eliminating it is everyone’s responsibility!