Monona County Public Health

Childhood Lead Poisoning

IS LEAD POISONING COMMON?

Unfortunately,1 in 14 Iowa children who are under the age of 6 are lead poisoned.  It is alarming that this is 4 times the national average. 

It is a known fact that lead poisoning is usually caused by lead-based paint found in homes
built before 1960 and about 60% of Iowa's homes both in cities and in rural areas were built before 1960.

CHILDREN BECOME LEAD POISONED IF THEY:

  • Put lead-based paint chips in their mouth.
  • Put dirty hands, toys, etc. in their mouth that have been contamin-ated with lead-based paint dust.
  • Chew on surfaces painted with lead-based paint.
  • Play in dirt or sand surrounding an old building that was painted with lead-based paint that was torn down or renovated.
  • Breathe in dust from lead-based paint that is being sanded, scraped or removed improperly.

 

 

SOME LEAD- POISONED CHILDREN MAY: 

  • Be easily excited.
  • Have problems paying attention.
  • Complain of stomach aches and headaches.
  • Be more tired than usual.
  • Have learning problems when they start school.
  • Have severe brain damage or may even die if their lead levels are  very high.

  LEAD POISONING LINKS:

 

 



HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CHILD IS LEAD POISONED?

The only way to tell for sure if your child is lead poisoned is to get their blood  tested. Most lead- poisoned children do not look sick.

It is recommended to get a blood lead test evey year until a child turns 6 years of age.  Well child exams at the doctor's office are a good time to have this done.  Many insurance plans pay for this test.

Monona County Public Health also does capillary blood lead tests for all children in the county regardless of insurance status.  Donations for this service are accepted.  These lead tests are done at our immunization clinics.  Our lead tests are sent to the State Hygienic Lab. Results are mailed to the parents usually within 7-10 days.  A lead level of under 10 ug/dL is considered normal.

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