National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The City of Fort Worth will present a series of informative articles during the week. The theme of this year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future.
Exposure to lead is dangerous to pregnant women and children under 6. It is important to know where items containing lead can be found and how to prevent those items from harming family members.
While paint, dust and soil are the most common sources of lead, there are other common lead hazards inside a home:
Imported makeup. Brands such as Sindoor, Kohl, Kajal, Al-Kahal, Surma, Tiro, Tozali or Kwalli are traditional eyeliners, popular in many parts of the world. They are a serious health concern because they commonly contain large amounts of lead and other heavy metals. These products are not allowed for sale in the U.S. Nevertheless, these products sometimes make their way into specialty markets in this country.
Drinking water. Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might contain lead, use only cold water for drinking and cooking, and run water for 15-30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours. Learn more.
Older toys, older furniture and play jewelry. Toys and play jewelry manufactured in other countries and imported into the United States, or antique toys and collectibles passed down through generations, put children at risk to lead exposure. Avoid buying vintage toys and furniture. Do not buy toys in discount stores and estate sales. Do not buy play jewelry that children can put in their mouths.
Imported glazed pottery. Lead may be present in the glazes or decorations covering the surfaces of some traditional pottery. Typical use of glazed pottery includes coffee mugs, plates and pans used for cooking or consuming foods.
Home remedies. Home remedies and medicines can help cure sick people. However, some of these home remedies contain lead and will make both children and adults very sick. Folk remedies, such as “greta” and “azarcon,” are used to treat upset stomach. If details about home remedies are not visible on a label, discard the product and never use them on children.
Candy and spices. Avoid products like tamarindo, chili or imported spices like turmeric. Candy, foods and liquids cooked or stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain may contain lead. Avoid eating items that are delivered by family members or friends from countries that do not regulate lead contaminants in candies or spices.
Certain jobs. If you work in one of these jobs, you could bring lead home on your body or clothes: car repair, construction, painting, mining and plumbing. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family’s clothes. Shower and change before having contact with family members.
Certain hobbies. Hobbies that use lead include hunting (using lead bullets), fishing (using lead sinkers), making pottery or stained glass or refinishing furniture. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family’s clothes. Shower and change before having contact with family members.
To learn more about testing your home, testing your child or child lead poisoning, contact the city’s Lead-Safe Program at 817-392-7319.
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