lead-poisoning-prevention-weekThis week, we acknowledge National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and this year’s important theme: Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future.  The Arizona Department of Health Services is participating in this event along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other state childhood lead poisoning prevention programs.

Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children . Even at low blood lead levels, children’s intelligence, behavior, hearing, and growth can be irreparably damaged. All children living in high risk zip codes should receive a blood lead test by their health care provider at 12 and 24 months of age.

Last year, our ADHS Childhood Lead Poisoning Program conducted a total of 15 home investigations and collected 142 food and environmental samples to identify potential sources of lead in the home and support families in reducing childhood blood lead levels. During one of these investigations, it was discovered that a family was cooking soups in lead-glazed pottery. The pottery was exchanged for a stainless steel pot provided by the Program. The child’s blood lead level dropped from 17 µg/dL to 6 µg/dL within 3 months of removing the pottery.

The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is focusing on 3 key messages: Know if you live in a high risk zip code, get your child tested at ages one and two, and be aware of sources, it’s not just paint.

If you’re interested in participating in the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week you can share and like Facebook posts and retweet posts with #LPPW2016 #LeadFreeKids! Together, we can make a lead free Arizona.