ELLSWORTH, Maine — This yearâ€™s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 23 to October 29. Healthy Acadia encourages community members and business owners to use this time to quickly assess their risks of lead exposure. If you reside in a home or an apartment building built before 1978, you could be exposing your children to dust from lead paint. If your business or organization is housed in a pre-1978 building, you could be exposing visitors to lead paint dust.
Children can be exposed to lead during day-to-day activities, such as playing on the floor where lead dust collects. Small children, mostly under the age of 3, often put their hands and toys into their mouths, making it easy for lead dust to be swallowed and to build in their systems.
â€śLead paint dust does not just lurk in your home,â€ť states Janet Lewis, Community Health Coordinator for Healthy Acadia. â€śThink about the places where your children play or visit; the daycare center, the church vestry, your sisterâ€™s house. Any structure built before 1978 is questionable.â€ť
If elevated blood lead levels are not detected early, children with such high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system. They can develop behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity), slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior.
During Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, as well as throughout the year, Healthy Acadia and the Maine CDC Lead Poisoning & Prevention Program work to raise awareness about how to prevent lead poisoning. This year’s theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of testing your home & business, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoningâ€™s serious health effects.
Healthy Acadia is offering free lead dust test kits and other resources to help prevent lead poisoning in the Hancock County area. Healthy Acadia encourages families living in older homes and apartments to take advantage of the offer and information to find out if their homes could be putting children at risk for lead poisoning. The simple test can help determine if a home has a lead dust problem. Exposure to lead paint dust is the most common cause of childhood lead poisoning in Maine.
For more information on how to keep your child safe from lead, or to get a free dust kit please contact Janet or Kelly at Healthy Acadia, 288-5331.
Contact Name: Janet Lewis
Telephone Number: (207)288-5331