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LEAD POISONING PREVENTION

FAQ's

1What is lead poisoning?
It’s a condition caused by swallowing or inhaling lead. Even small amounts of lead can be harmful especially to small, developing, children and the damage may not be reversible.
2Why is it important to know about lead poisoning?
Older homes and buildings built before 1978 often have lead-based paint.
3How does lead affect children?
Even at low blood lead levels, there may be damage to the Central Nervous System which could include: delayed growth, hearing loss, learning disabilities and low I.Q., behavior problems, and the inability to focus or learn. At higher blood lead levels, lead is toxic and may lead to coma, convulsions, seizures, and even death.
4What are some symptoms of lead poisoning?
Often the signs are not easily seen. Some children may not even have symptoms. Some lead poisoning symptoms could include:

  • stomachache
  • headache
  • fatigue or irritability
  • and possibly struggling academically or having behavior issues.
5What are some symptoms of lead poisoning?
Often the signs are not easily seen. Some children may not even have symptoms. Some lead poisoning symptoms could include:

  • stomachache
  • headache
  • fatigue or irritability
  • and possibly struggling academically or having behavior issues.
6What are some sources of lead in a child’s environment?

  • Painted surfaces that are deteriorated- paint dust, chipping, chalking, and peeling paint. Homes built before 1978 are more apt to have lead paint inside, outside, or in the soil. Lead was banned for residential use by 1978, however; toys, jewelry, and pottery imported from outside of the U.S. may still contain lead.
  • Soil – Areas outside where chips and dust from paint has fallen, and lead-based insecticides.
  • Water – In some places old plumbing may have lead pipes or lead solder. Check your plumbing. (*The Lead Safe Program does not include Lead Testing of water and/or pipes).
  • Other sources of lead – poorly glazed pottery, fishing weights, antique pewter and some hobby items such as stained glass, furniture refinishing, and bullet making.
  • Occupations- Do not bring lead home with you!!  Certain occupations such as auto mechanics, battery manufacturers, construction (bridge construction too), pipe fitters, artists, recycling operations, smelting operations, and other manufacturing that utilizes lead-based components can all be hazardous. Lead dust can remain on clothing and be brought home with you and transferred to other members of your family through the wash or direct contact.
7Is there lead-based paint in my home?
Most homes constructed prior to 1978 contain some levels of lead-paint. When remodeling, or repainting, dangerous levels of lead-paint dust can be released in the air settling on the ground and through open windows or screens. Special precautions must be taken by any person engaged in any type of building or remodeling of a home. This is especially important if children are present or in the area. Children are very sensitive to lead; exposure could cause serious mental and physical problems that are not reversible.

If you are working on a pre-1978 property, please read the following:

Make sure lead safety is a part of your renovation. EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA, use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. In order to become certified renovators, individuals must take training from an EPA-accredited training provider. For firms to be certified, they must submit an application and fee to EPA online.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/lead or call the Lead Hotline: 1 (800) 424-LEAD [5323].
8How do I find out if my child has been exposed to lead?
Have your child tested for lead – the younger the better! Make arrangements for your child’s Pediatrician to have your child’s blood tested for lead.
9What is the test like?
It is a quick blood test (finger prick), or a venous draw (more accurate).
10If the test is positive, what can I do??
Your health care professional can assist you in getting your child free from lead. Some steps you can take include:

  • Safe removal of the source of lead in your home
  • Regular medical attention
  • Dietary changes for proper nutrition
  • Proper cleaning techniques in the home
11What services does Westmoreland County offer?
Westmoreland County offers “The Lead Paint Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program” to identify lead hazards in a home where there is a child under the age of six years living in or visiting for at least six hours per week. If you have any questions, please contact:

Lead Safe Westmoreland
40 N. Pennsylvania Avenue 5th Floor, Suite 520
Greensburg, PA 15601
Office: 724-830-3366 or 724-830-3600
FAX: 724-830-3611
E-mail: LeadSafe@co.westmoreland.pa.us
Website: Lead Safe Westmoreland | Westmoreland County, PA - Official Website
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