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Q&A:
How did my 2-year-old get lead poisoning?

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How did my 2-year-old get lead poisoning?

Answer


It takes very little lead exposure to raise levels in a child, and there are many sources besides interior lead paint. Exterior paint can chip and get into the soil around a house where children play in the dirt; grass provides some protection in this circumstance. Dirt also can become contaminated by air polluted with lead. Living near a freeway or a battery recycling plant adds to the risk, since airborne lead particles can be inhaled or settle on surfaces and in the soil. A child can visit a home built before 1972 even once and swallow just a small chip of interior paint. Interior dust may have lead in it, and the dust often gets worse during the course of house renovation. I've even had a child become very ill from chewing on window blinds finished with lead paint. If you yourself have high lead levels, you could have transferred that to him before birth.

Most states and counties have a team of experts who will come to your home or wherever your child regularly stays and do a thorough investigation. They may be able to pinpoint the source, offer testing to others at risk, and give you advice about cleanup or moving if needed. Follow advice about treatment and retesting very faithfully. Research has shown that even low levels of lead poisoning can have a long-term impact on intellectual development. Be aggressive in finding the lead in your life and getting rid of it completely.  
 
 
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