Even in today’s day and age, Americans living and working in unsafe conditions are at risk of being exposed to high levels of lead. Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over time. Unfortunately, signs and symptoms don’t typically appear until dangerous amounts have already accumulated. Even with low levels of lead in blood, it has been shown to affect IQ, the ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. Very high levels of lead can be fatal, and the effects of this heavy metal cannot be corrected or reversed.
Lead can be found almost everywhere such as in the soil, water, air, and inside our homes. Some common materials that lead can be found in include ceramics, paint, batteries, and plumbing materials. There is no safe level of lead exposure, so it’s very important to prevent exposure altogether. The EPA recommends some simple steps to help prevent lead exposure in your home. According to the EPA, these tips include:
* Inspect and maintain all painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration
* Address water damage quickly and completely
* Keep your home clean and dust free; household dust from deteriorating lead-based paint or contaminated soil can be major sources of lead exposure for children
* Let the water run to flush the tap, use only cold water to prepare food and drinks, and use a water filter; lead in older pipes can leach into drinking water
To learn more, please visit the EPA’s webpage on lead at https://www.epa.gov/lead.