To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the Norwalk Health Department, along with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) each year in late October. The Health Department is working year-round to educate residents and prevent lead poisoning, urging residents to test their homes, test their children, and learn how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. The Health Department’s trained and certified staff conduct investigations and lead inspections and educate residents about ways they can prevent lead poisoning, especially in children 6 years of age and younger. More information about this work can be found on the Health Department’s Lead Poisoning Prevention page.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable, but nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health, according to the CDC. Often, children in the United States are exposed to lead through lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from other sources, including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil. Lead can also be found in some products manufactured outside the United States, such as toys, cosmetics, jewelry, spices, and cookware.
Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your family: