By Guest Blogger Jennifer Freeman
At least four million households in the US have children living in them who are being exposed to high levels of lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about a half million of our country’s children ages 1-5 have blood lead levels above the level at which the CDC urges actions be taken.
Could your child or another child you know be at risk of lead poisoning?
Lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, so unfortunately, you may not even know it’s happening. Lead poisoned children don’t look sick, even though lead exposure can affect nearly every system in their body. And high levels of lead in a child’s blood can cause learning, behavior and health problems.
So, what can you do right now about this?
“Learn all you can about lead hazards in the home, get your children tested, and read up on the facts about lead poisoning,” says Jennifer Freeman, the City of Greensboro’s Lead Safe Housing Program manager.
The City recognizes National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 21-27 by raising awareness of this issue and publicizing how it can help those who need it. Conducted by the City’s Neighborhood Development Department, the Lead Safe Housing Program provides assistance with lead paint hazard reduction and healthy homes repairs in the community.
And this week, the City is also offering to send one of its Lead Safe Housing Program staff to talk with community groups and organizations about the program and the grants available to address lead paint hazards in homes and arrange for contractors to do the job.
Call Freeman at 336-373-2530 about scheduling a speaker or to see if you or someone you know qualifies for one of these grants. Also visit this City Web page for more information: www.greensboro-nc.gov/LeadSafe.
Homeowners and landlords may qualify for a City grant to reduce lead hazards if:
- A property was built before 1978
- A property is located within the city limits of Greensboro
- Children age 5 or under are living there or visit frequently
- The occupant’s income falls within the financial guidelines.
In the meantime, Freeman urges you get your children’s blood lead level tested, especially if your home’s paint is chipping or flaking.
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