In recognition of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 21-27, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is encouraging parents to get their children regularly screened for lead poisoning by their health care provider.
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.
Despite dramatic decreases in the number of children who are lead-poisoned, approximately seven percent of Chicago children tested in 2011 had blood lead levels of 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher.
“Childhood lead poisoning is a serious but preventable health condition,” said Chicago Public Health Commissioner, Bechara Choucair, M.D. "The Chicago Department of Public Health continues to raise awareness on lead poisoning prevention and works to abate the lead hazards in homes.”
Major sources of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace and lead in soil.
Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family:
For more information on lead poisoning prevention, visit our website at www.CityofChicago.org/Health