The exposure to lead is a major concern for the public’s health.
The presence of lead in the environment poses a significant threat, particularly to young children. Lead is a poisonous metal that was utilised for many years in items that were commonly found in households up until the late 1970s. These lead-containing products included paint, petrol and plumbing pipes. In spite of the fact that it is no longer utilised in these items, lead continues to be a significant public health hazard in the present day.
Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects that lead can have on their bodies. Because their bodies are still developing, they are more able to absorb lead than adults are, and their brains and neurological systems are more sensitive to the harmful effects of lead contamination. Even modest levels of lead in a child’s blood can cause a variety of problems, including lifelong learning difficulties, a lower IQ, attention deficits, hyperactivity, delayed growth, and hearing loss, among other problems. Because of this, the effects are typically irreversible.
In the home, the various sources of lead exposure
Paint containing lead is the most prevalent source of exposure in residential buildings, particularly in residences that were constructed prior to 1978. It is possible for paint to chip, produce dust, or for the soil outdoors to become contaminated as it ages. Ingestion of lead occurs when children put paint chips or soil and dust from the exterior of their homes into their mouths, or when they touch objects that are covered with lead dust and then put their fingers in their mouths.
Solder, lead pipes, and plumbing fixtures are some of the other sources that can be found in a home. The water that is consumed has the potential to become poisoned as it travels through these lead sources. Lead can also be found in the soil that surrounds a neighbourhood. Lead crystal and lead-glazed pottery are two more forms of lead consumption.
Health Effects Are Determined by the Level of Exposure
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no acceptable level of lead exposure. Even at low concentrations in the blood, a child’s development and health can be negatively affected. The more lead that is present in a person’s body, the more detrimental the impacts on their health are. Lead exposure can cause a variety of adverse health effects in children, including anaemia, convulsions, coma, and even death.
In order to detect any potential sources of lead and put a stop to any further exposure, it is essential to do lead testing on both households and children. It is recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all children be tested for lead using a straightforward blood test between the ages of one and two. The presence of any potential dangers, such as peeling paint, polluted dust or dirt, or lead in the water, should be identified during home inspections or tests.
The testing process offers a sense of calm.
Getting a lead inspection not only gives homeowners the ability to identify any potential dangers in their house, but it also gives them peace of mind. In the event that risks are discovered, the root causes can be eliminated or managed through remediation. Because of this, the exposure does not continue, which would otherwise cause additional damage.
Identification at an early stage through the use of blood lead level screening also makes it possible to take measures to lessen a child’s exposure to lead if the levels are found to be elevated. Keeping an eye on their health allows for the detection of any potential issues. It is possible that children who have extremely high lead levels will require medical therapy in order to bring their blood lead levels down.
Take Measures to Decrease Your Exposure to Lead
The following is a list of significant actions that every family can do to lessen their exposures:
Conduct a lead test on your home, taking into consideration paint, dust, water, and soil. Testing can be carried out using lead swabs like these.
Children up to the age of six or three years old should be tested annually in locations where there is a high risk of lead exposure. Consult with your physician about the straightforward blood test.
To lessen the likelihood of contamination, wash children’s hands and toys on a regular basis.
Floors, window sills, and other surfaces should be cleaned on a weekly basis. If you want to prevent dust from spreading, use moist mopping and wiping.
When renovating older homes, safety measures should be taken to prevent the creation of dust.
If lead plumbing fixtures are suspected, water should be filtered, and testing should be considered.
A layer of grass, plants, bark, or gravel should be placed over bare soil. Planting plants close to the house will prevent soil from being tracked inside.
If you want to avoid tracking in soil, leave your shoes at the entrance.
When performing any kind of renovation or repair, only use lead-safe labour procedures.
By conducting tests, determining the sources of lead exposure, and taking straightforward measures to lessen the likelihood of exposure, lead exposure can be avoided. Every family ought to make it a top priority to shield their children from the harmful effects of this metal. Conducting a lead test in your house and being aware of the lead level in your child’s blood give essential information that can be used to prevent further lead exposure and enable early intervention, if it is required. The negative effects of lead on public health can also be mitigated by taking preventative actions.