Essex County Public Health offers free lead screening

ELIZABETHTOWN News this summer that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled millions of toys after determining they contained excessive amounts of lead recently elevated the issue of childhood lead poisoning in the United States. In fact, the CDC estimates nearly half a million children living in the U.S. have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health. Despite the ever-threatening presence of lead in the environment today, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the Essex County Public Health Department is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) Oct. 21-27 along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year's NLPPW theme, "Protect Our Most Valuable ResourceOur Children," underscores the importance of preventing lead exposure before children are harmed to prevent lead poisonings serious health effects, such as brain damage, learning and behavior problems or even death. In commemoration of NLPPW, Essex County Public Health Department will offer free lead screenings on Monday, October 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at its Elizabethtown office. Call 873-3500 to schedule an appointment. Education regarding preventing childhood lead poisoning will also be provided. There are many ways parents can reduce a childs exposure to lead. First and foremost, hazards in a childs environment must be identified and controlled or removed safely. Sources of lead include: Dust and chips from paint in homes built before 1978 Ground soil Various imported goods, such as toys, Mexican candy, traditional ceramics, childrens jewelry Some drinking water Folk remedies

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