Lead Poisoning Prevention

A serious and preventable public health concern facing children is lead poisoning. Recently, on behalf of the City of Cleveland, Mayor Frank G. Jackson designated October 23 - 29, 2016, as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Cleveland. The Cleveland Department of Public Health kicked-off National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week at Cleveland City Hall in the Rotunda. This year's theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing homes, testing children, decreasing the risks of lead in drinking water, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

Nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that may cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings; take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil. Potential sources of lead in drinking water are lead service lines used to establish connections with the water system prior to the 1960s and home plumbing with high lead solder installed before 1986 and brass fittings and fixtures installed before 2014. 

Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many simple ways including: routine cleaning to remove dust that can contain lead; getting homes tested for lead or asking for a lead inspection when buying an older home; getting children tested; reducing potential sources of lead in drinking water; visiting www.clevelandwater.com/lead-treatment to understand what Cleveland Water does and what can be done; and learning how to reduce the risk of lead poisoning.

To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the Cleveland Department of Public Health through its Lead Safe Living initiative along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 23-29; and will conduct FREE lead testing for children under the age of 6.

Cleveland Water and the Cleveland Department of Public Health will provide educational outreach activities designed to educate families with children and residential property owners on preventative measures that can be taken to eliminate the risk of a child being lead poisoned and to keep homes lead safe. Cleveland officials and representatives along with members from Community Partners were on site at the kick-off to provide informational handout and resources to attendees.

More information: 216.664.2175 or City of Cleveland Department of Public Health website

Photographer: 
Ruggero Fatica