Mold - Asbestos - Lead - Radon - Indoor Air Quality - Chemicals
What is the problem? Approximately 310,000 U.S. children aged 1-5 years have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.
How are children exposed to lead? The major source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978. However, approximately 24 million housing units in the United States have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children.
Other sources of lead poisoning are related to:
- Hobbies (making stained-glass windows)
- Work (recycling or making automobile batteries)
- Drinking water (lead pipes, solder, brass fixtures, valves can all leach lead)
- Home health remedies (azarcon and greta, which are used for upset stomach or indigestion; pay-loo-ah, which is used for rash or fever).
The US EPA Website has a very good Lead-Based Paint (LBP) resource center. It is dedicated to keeping the public informed regarding EPA's LBP program activities and products.
Training Courses EPA has developed training courses to instruct individuals in the use of lead-safe work practices during renovation and remodeling, as well as courses for lead-based paint abatement, inspection, and risk assessments.
How-To References Useful resources that provide information about how to safely conduct projects involving lead-based paint.
Technical Studies Scientific and technical data and information concerning amounts of lead in the environment, elevated levels of lead in children, the presence of LBP hazards and controlling LBP and related hazards.
Outreach Campaigns and MaterialsTo foster adoption of the new measures, EPA launched an education and outreach campaign promoting use of lead-safe work practices. EPA's analysis indicated that renovation, repair and painting projects in housing and child-occupied facilities that are likely to contain lead-based paint affect 1.4 million children under age six annually. The new requirements are key components of a comprehensive federal effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. These include programs to educate parents and caregivers to keep their housing clean and well-maintained, to make sure their young children wash their hands frequently and eat nutritious food, and to talk to their doctor about testing young children for lead poisoning. Read more about the new rule for renovation, repair and painting to protect against lead poisoning. Read the fact sheet on renovation.
Brochures and Posters Commonly used education materials for informing individuals and families on the dangers of LBP, child lead poisoning, lead testing techniques, LBP hazards and prevention.
Lead in Toy Jewelry Useful information about lead in toy jewelry. Young children often put objects in their mouths. When those objects, such as toy jewelry, contain lead, a child can suffer from lead poisoning.
Grants EPA provides funds, in the form of grants, for public and private organizations to help achieve the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning by the year 2010.
Links Provides links to the EPA lead hotline, databases, additional EPA offices dedicated to fighting lead-poisoning, and non-EPA lead related resources.