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Is your home lead safe?

Was your house or apartment building constructed before 1978? Do children under age 6 live with you or stay with you sometimes? Protect them by reading the following.

Childhood lead poisoning is often caused by exposure to paint manufactured before 1978.

You might be picturing old paint peeling from window sills, and a toddler eating the paint chips. This is one way young children become poisoned by lead.

In Iowa, children usually are lead poisoned from breathing in dust from paint that eventually breaks down and turns into dust. Lead-based paint dust between inside windows and the screen/storm windows causes many cases of childhood lead poisoning.

Young children can be poisoned from putting antique painted toys into their mouths, or from putting their mouths on old painted furniture. Ceramic dishes made outside the US may have lead glaze, so don’t eat from them.

Children can get into lead-based paint chips and dust outdoors if your porch and house siding have been painted with lead-based paint. Even the soil around your house could be contaminated, and a young child playing in the dirt who then puts his hands in his mouth could ingest lead.

Lead poisoning causes children to have learning and behavior problems. With very high lead levels children can develop seizures, become unconscious, or even die. A blood test is the only way to tell if a child has a high lead level.

If you find lead hazards in or around your home, do not panic! Do NOT sand, scrape, or remove any paint, walls, or plaster until you know how to do it safely. You don’t want to raise lots of lead-paint dust. Please call 515-993-5803. You may be eligible for funding to repair the lead hazards in your home.

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