Lead Poisoning Prevention
Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet an estimated 250,000 U.S. children have elevated blood-lead levels. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is committed to eliminating this burden to public health.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW)
CDC and HHS share the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning in the United States. NLPPW occurs every year during the last full week in October (Senate. Resolution 199). During NLPPW, CDC aims to:
- Raise awareness about lead poisoning;
- Stress the importance of screening the highest risk children younger than 6 years of age (preferably by ages 1 and 2) if they have not been tested yet;
- Highlight partner’s efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning; and
- Urge people to take steps to reduce lead exposure.
During NLPPW, many states and communities offer free blood-lead testing and conduct various education and awareness events. For more information about NLPPW activities in your area, please contact your state or local health department.
Every year, CDC, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), develops posters in observance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW). The posters are free for downloading by states and communities. In addition, in 2010, we have developed a NLPPW Campaign Toolkit to encourage information-sharing, collaboration, and promotion of NLPPW and lead poisoning prevention in general.
- Keep the area where your children play as dust-free and clean as possible.
- Consider hiring a certified inspector to check for lead hazards in older homes. Click on your state to find an inspector.
- Ask your doctor to test your young children for lead even if they seem healthy. Read more: How Lead Exposure Can Affect Your Child.
- Be a good neighbor. Spread the word about EPA’s new lead-safe renovation rule. Read more.
- Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord if you live in an older home built before 1978.
- Make sure your children do not chew on painted surfaces, such as toys or window sills.
- Learn about and avoid toys that contain lead. Read more: Read more.