Lead poisoning is top of mind with the Flint water crisis in our headlines. Exposure to lead particles is a serious health threat. Lead can be found in the soil and drinking water if supplied by lead pipes. In Michigan, the #1 cause of lead poisoning is lead paint. It is found in painted surfaces like windows,cupboard and doors of homes built before 1978. Children can get lead dust from their hands into their mouths. Even a small amount of lead can cause learning, hearing and behavioral problems. Kids with lead poisoning may not look or act sick. Only a simple blood test can tell for sure. Ask your doctor to test your child at 12 and 24 months. Test kids ages 3 – 6 once a year.
Things you can do to make every day lead safe
- Remove paint chips first. Window areas and porches often have peeling paint and lead dust.
2. Pick up visible chips and dispose of them in a plastic bag.
3. Always wet-mop floors and window sills. Do not broom lead dust.
4. If you use a water filter, be sure it meets NSF/ANSI 53 standards for lead reduction.
5. Flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for cooking and mixing formula.
6. Flush pipes by running the water for approximately 5 minutes.
7. Test. Consider contacting your local water authority to have your water tested