National Lead Prevention Week

by Press Release | Oct 25, 2004
National Lead Prevention Week The Burlington County Health Department is reminding parents to have their young children tested for lead poisoning in accordance with guidelines by the federal government, which has designated October 24-30 as National Lead Prevention Week.

County Public Health Officer Robert Gogats said that the County offers lead screening at no cost to children 6 months to 5 years of age who are uninsured or on Medicaid. Children should be tested for elevated blood lead levels at both one and two years of age, especially those living in older homes with potential lead-based paint.

Freeholder Dawn Marie Addiego said, “Lead poisoning is one of the most preventable environmental diseases among young children. A simple blood test can prevent a lifetime spoiled by the neurological damage caused by lead”

Only 18 percent of children between 6 to 29 months old in Burlington County were tested last year, according to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ Childhood Lead Poisoning report.

Health insurance covers lead testing with a doctor’s referral. “We are reminding parents to obtain a prescription from their doctors for the lead testing and to take their children to the lab for the test,” Gogats said.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that was once used in many household products, including lead-based paints manufactured before 1978. The primary sources of exposure are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil found in and around old buildings.

Nurses in Virtua’s Community Nursing Service work with the County Health Department housing inspectors to identify homes that have lead-based paint. The nurses also conduct preventative education and case management of children with elevated lead levels.

Lead screening is also provided at the Health Department’s WIC Program (Women, Infants and Children) and at various sites throughout the county.

For more information, contact the Health Department at (609) 265-5548.

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Author: Press Release



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