Lead Inspector
Serving All of Oregon and Southwest Washington

Lead And Your Child

The most valuable things we can ever have are our children. They are also the most vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning. From pre-natal through infancy and all the way to late adolescence, while they grow lead can build up in the core of their vital body structures. The therapies to remove it are costly, time consuming and most of all, very unpleasant. Be safe, avoid the possibility. A lead inspection can give you valuable information that you can use to protect them.

Lead And Your Child
Lead And Your Child

Lead Poisoning and Effects in Children

Exposure to lead can have a wide range of effects on a child’s development and behavior. Even when exposed to small amounts of lead levels, children may appear inattentive, hyperactive and irritable. Children with greater lead levels may also have problems with learning and reading, delayed growth and hearing loss. At high levels, lead can cause permanent brain damage and even death.

Many kids with Lead Poisoning do not show any signs of being sick. Parents should make sure that their homes are free of lead paint and that the lead level in their drinking water is acceptably low. A simple and inexpensive blood test all can determine whether or not a child has a dangerous level of lead in his or her body. The test can be obtained through a physician, or public health agency.

Early identification and treatment of lead poisoning reduces the risk that children will suffer permanent damage. Treatment begins with removal of the child from the sources of the lead. Medications can remove lead from the body.

How to protect your children and yourself

You can protect your kids from lead poisoning by ensuring that your home is lead-free — contact us about having your home evaluated for lead sources. Have your kids tested for lead exposure, particularly if they’re between 6 months and 3 years old. Kids this age spend a lot of time on the floor and trying to put things in their mouths.

These tips can help you reduce the risk of lead exposure:

Be wary of old plumbing. Old plumbing might be lined with lead. If you have an old plumbing system (in homes built before 1970), which used copper pipes and lead solder, you may want to get your water tested. You can contact us or the local water department to find a laboratory that will test your water for lead content. You also can take precautions to limit your exposure. If the water from the cold faucet has not been run for several hours, let cold water run for 30 seconds before drinking it. And because hot water absorbs more lead than cold water, don’t use hot tap water for meals.

Keep your home and your family clean. Wash your kids’ hands frequently, sanitize your children’s toys, and keep dusty surfaces clean with a wet cloth.

Ensure that iron and calcium are in your diets. If kids are exposed to lead, good nutrition can reduce the amount that’s absorbed by their bodies.

Know where your kids play. Keep them away from busy roads and the underside of bridges.

If you suspect that you might have lead-based paint on your walls, use a wet cloth to wipe windowsills and walls. Watch out for water damage that can make paint peel. Do not sand or heat lead-based paint because doing so increases the risk that lead will be inhaled. If the paint doesn’t have many chips, a new layer of paint, paneling, or drywall will probably reduce the risk. It’s best to contact us when you have a concern, because other precautions that we can address might be needed to contain the lead in the paint.

Lead And Your Child

Why Is Lead Harmful?

When the body is exposed to lead — by being inhaled, swallowed, or in a small number of cases, absorbed through the skin — it can act as a poison. Exposure to high lead levels in a short period of time is called acute toxicity. Exposure to small amounts of lead over a long period of time is called chronic toxicity.

Lead is particularly dangerous because once it gets into a person’s system it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Lead can cause harm wherever it lands in the body. In the bloodstream, for example, it can damage red blood cells and limit their ability to carry oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it, thus causing anemia.

Most lead ends up in the bone. Lead can interfere with the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium that bones, teeth, muscles, and nerves need to function.