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According to the Center for Disease Control’s Lead Surveillance Report nearly 30,000 children under the age of 6 were found to have elevated blood lead levels in 2007. A staggering number when you know that this type of poisoning is preventable. By simply keeping your child from contact with lead hazards in their environment, you can reduce their overall exposure to this harmful chemical.

So how are children exposed to lead? Most commonly through lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust, though there are the additional but less common, exposures through the use of toys, jewelry, cookware and other household items containing lead.

Since 1978, lead-based paints have been banned for use in housing. This means that most houses built prior to 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. The largest risk of contamination though, comes from deterioration and improper removal of this paint.

Here’s what the CDC recommends you do to protect your child from lead exposure:

• Talk to your state or local health department about testing paint and dust for lead.
• Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint.
• Pregnant women and small children should not be present in renovation of housing built prior to 1978.
• Create barriers between living/play areas and lead sources.
• Practice good hand washing. Hands and toys can become contaminated from household dust or exterior soil – known lead sources.
• Regularly wet-mop floors and wet-wipe window components (about every 2 to 3 weeks). Windowsills and wells can contain high levels of leaded dust.
• Prevent children from playing in bare soil, through the use of sandboxes, grass, mulch, or wood chips.
• Use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking and for making baby formula since hot water is more likely to contain higher levels of lead.
• Shower and change your clothes after finishing a task that involves working with lead-based products, such as stain glass work, bullet making, lead paint removal or using a firing range.
• If you live in a circumstance of increased risk for exposure be sure and have your child tested for elevated blood lead levels, to ensure early intervention.

To keep your child safe from lead in household products, visit the CDC’s lead recall pages featuring the latest recalls in toys, crafts, jewelry, office supplies, foodware and clothing. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/Recalls/default.htm

If you suspect that you or a family member has experienced lead poisoning as a result of negligence or product liability, contact Meshbesher & Spence immediately. Our experienced attorneys and expert staff know how to build a case to make sure that you and your family receive fair compensation in the most difficult of circumstances