Home Assessment for lead poisoning
The purpose of a home assessment for lead poisoning is to provide families with education and assistance in determining any potential source(s) of lead exposure in their home in order to help prevent further health risks from exposure by eliminating potential lead sources inside and outside of the home.
When children with an elevated blood lead (EBL) are referred to us the CMH Medical Toxicologist and the CEH staff work together to determine our program’s involvement in assisting the family. If it is determined that CEH will perform a home assessment for lead exposure, our team coordinates an initial home visit with the family and, where possible, the local health department .In most cases, the family receives a detailed report of the assessment along with recommendations and action steps on addressing potential lead hazards that may have been present. The CEH team continues to work with the child’s physician, the CMH Medical Toxicologist, the local health department(s), and other community organization(s) that may have been involved in order to provide case management and help coordinate any additional lead blood testing that may be necessary.
Why is lead a concern:
Childhood lead poisoning has been a concern for many years and the Center for Disease Control estimates that about 535,000 children in America contain enough lead within their bodies to place them at risk for being lead poisoned. Lead poisoning can contribute to health conditions such as: behavioral and neurological effects, headaches, and reduction in IQ. Exposure to lead can occur when living in older homes (pre-1978), which may have been painted with lead-based paint on the inside and outside. Children could be exposed to it by breathing in lead dust or by ingesting it. Areas of the home become worn or deteriorate, like windows, doors, and siding, from daily contact of those surfaces, then the paint may flake and a fine dust is created that makes its way to the floors where small children come in easy contact with it. Children tend to have a lot of hand to mouth activity, where they can be exposed to lead dust. On the outside of the home, deteriorated paint can make its way to the soil, and in bare soil areas of the yard, children can easily be exposed through play and other activities.
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