Here’s how to protect your children from lead poisoning

It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, so it’s a good time to learn about it and consider having your children tested for lead exposure, especially if you live in a home that was built before 1978. Although lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among children, there are still about half a million kids in the U.S. with elevated levels of lead in their blood.

How does lead get into your child’s body?

The most common way a child is exposed to lead is from dust from deteriorating lead-based paint in older homes and apartments. This is by far the most dangerous lead exposure for most children. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. More than half of the homes in Idaho were built before 1978 and could have lead-based paint in them. Lead also can be found in soil near mining or smelting sites, tap water in homes with older plumbing, car batteries, bullets, and even some folk medicines such as azarcon or greta. Grown-up hobbies that use lead such as reloading and making bullets, or making stained glass and pottery can also increase a child’s exposure to lead. Continue reading