2012 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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October 18, 2012        Print version

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 21–27, 2012

Poughkeepsie…Nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The estimate is based on children with a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher using data from national surveys conducted in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. Major sources of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil.

“Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable,” noted Michael C Caldwell, MD, MPH, Dutchess County Commissioner of Health.  “The County has worked for years to identify sources of lead in the community and provide education and resources to help reduce the risk of lead coming in contact with our children.”

To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, Dutchess County along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 21–27.

This year's NLPPW theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.  The County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides individual case management and follow-up for children with elevated blood lead levels.

The following recommendations and precautions are designed to protect children from lead poisoning:

  • All children should be tested for lead at ages one and two.

  • Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint or household plumbing made with lead materials.

  • Clean floors, window frames, window sills and other surfaces at least weekly.  Use a mop, sponge or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner.

  • Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself, because you risk creating lead dust and chips.  Consider hiring a professional contractor with experience in working safely with lead removal.

  • Be sure children wash their hands before eating, after playing outside and at bedtime.

  • Don’t bring lead dust into the home.  If you are exposed to lead at work, change your clothes and shower, if possible, before you go home.  Wash work clothes separately.

Community education, outreach, and environmental investigations are also available. Dutchess County Department of Health continues to work to address lead contamination occurring as a result of renovation.  Training in lead-safe work practices is offered to landlords, home owners, and contractors in the City of Pougkeepsie, focusing on reducing the amount of dust generated during paint-disturbing work, containing any dust generated, and thoroughly cleaning the job site after work to remove any lead-contaminated dust. 

Lead exposure can be reduced in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do:

  1. Get your Home Tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.

  2. Get your Child Tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.

  3. Get the Facts!  Dutchess County Department of Health offers helpful information for the prevention of lead poisoning. Contact them at 845-486-3419 or http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Health/16988.htm

For more information, contact Dutchess County Department of Health at 845-486-3404 or call 1-800-424-LEAD.






A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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