Take the lead and watch for lead poisoning

NEGAUNEE — If you’re living in an old house, chances are your paint is pretty old as well, and older paints have a higher chance of carrying lead in them.

During Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, it’s important to note the dangers of exposure to lead. Nearly half a million children living in the United States have elevated blood lead levels due to lead exposure.

“Kids are most at risk because they’re playing a lot near the ground, and they tend to have a lot of hand-to-mouth behaviors. So they’re putting a lot of toys in their mouth, so any lead that they’re exposed to they’re going to ingest a lot more easily than an adult person would,” said Public Health Nurse Jolene Spencer.

That’s right. Lead isn’t only found in paint. It’s found in water, toys, and even imported items. Nursing and pregnant women are also at risk.

The worst part is that you never know if you have lead poisoning.

Spencer said “There’s really no symptoms for lead poisoning, so the only way we can really tell that a kid has lead poisoning is for them to be tested.”

If you believe you or your child may have lead poisoning, you can get tested by your doctor, or through the health clinic.