Test for lead and reduce your risks

Test for lead and reduce your risks

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Lead poisoning may result in damage to one’s brain and other organs, causing a decrease in mental and physical functions. There is no safe amount of lead in an individual’s system; however, repeated exposure causes a buildup of lead and increases the risk of damage.

Young children are at the highest risk of lead poisoning. Young children also are more likely to put items containing lead or lead particles in their mouths.

Per the Ohio Department of Health, symptoms of lead poisoning in young children include stomach aches, headaches, tiredness and low iron levels. Babies whose mothers were exposed while pregnant are at an increased risk. Other risk factors are children living in or regularly being exposed to a structure built before 1978 or who are in frequent contact with an adult who works with lead in the construction, pottery, welding or painting industries. At this time there are no ZIP Codes in Holmes County that are considered high risk for lead poisoning.

If concerned your child has been exposed to lead or has symptoms of lead poisoning, talk with your family doctor or pediatrician. Many offices will test a child for lead poisoning at their 1-year check-up. If your child is on Medicaid, an appointment can be made with the WIC office in the Holmes County General Health District to have your child’s blood lead levels tested at no cost to you.

The Environmental Health Division within the health district also provides water sampling for lead in private water systems at a cost of $25 per sample. If you do not have a well or other private water source, your village has public record of their water samples. The health district also can provide a lead cleaning kit and connect you with ODH for further lead testing for your home. There is no income requirement for lead cleaning kits acquired through the Holmes County General Health District. Lead testing kits also are available online and at hardware stores.

If a child under the age of 3 tests positive for lead, they automatically qualify for Help Me Grow Early Intervention services. Early Intervention coordinates therapy and other services for parents of infants and toddlers (under the age of 3) with disabilities or developmental delays.

To make a referral to Early Intervention, schedule a blood lead level test with WIC, request a lead cleaning kit or schedule a private water sample and call the Holmes County General Health District at 330-674-5035. You also can visit www.odh.ohio.gov and search for childhood lead poisoning for more information for homeowners or renters and information on lead for pregnant women.