Lead exposure in young children can cause reduced IQ and attention span, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and a range of other health and behavioral effects.
Most exposures occur in homes or daycares built before 1978 where lead-based paint has deteriorated because of deferred maintenance or where lead hazards have been created through renovation done without using lead-safe work practices.
Prevention of lead poisoning can be accomplished by eliminating lead-based paint hazards before children are exposed. Manitowoc County’s goal is to eliminate this disease by working to make our housing lead-safe, and by improving the detection and treatment of lead poisoning in children. The most common source of childhood lead poisoning is lead based paint.
Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. Lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. It could take two minutes or longer.
Only use cold water for eating and drinking: Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking and cooking. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
Note that boiling water will NOT get rid of lead contamination.
Call your provider if you are interested in discussing blood lead screening.
Basic information can be found in the Look Out For Lead (ENGLISH or SPANISH) brochure.
More information on lead poisoning prevention can be found at LEAD FREE KIDS.