Lead is a chemical element that has been used in paint, gas for cars, weights, pottery and many other things and can be very harmful to humans who swallow or breathe in the lead, which is often in the form of dust.
Children from 6 months to 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning and can get very sick from lead poisoning. A child who swallows or breathes in lead may suffer damage to his or her brain, nerves, blood, and other parts of the body. This could result in a lowered IQ, behavior problems, mental retardation, kidney disease, heart disease, and possibly death. Families that are concerned that their child may have elevated levels of lead in their blood should arrange a child health clinic appointment. Depending on the level of lead in a child’s blood, environmental health staff may recommend or require a home environmental assessment and/or our WIC program may provide nutrition education to remedy the impact on the child’s health and wellbeing.