National Lead Poison Prevention Week; 10 Tips

press briefing photo cropped

Today is the beginning of National Lead Poison Prevention Week and the TGPR team will be at Ruth Temple Health Center for a press briefing on behalf of client California Poison Control. The press briefing will feature:

  • Medical experts discussing lead poisoning prevention and detection techniques
  • Parents and children from a local daycare center learning about lead poisoning
  • Items containing lead, including contaminated candies, jewelry, pottery, toys and lead-based painted items
  • How-tos for lead detection kits;
  • and, the launch of a new animated film about lead poisoning that will appear on 2000 LA Metro buses.

Cyrus Rangan, MD, a pediatrician and medical toxicologist with California Poison Control says:

Lead poisoning is one of the most important and most preventable pediatric environmental diseases today. Lead poisoning may cause a variety of medical problems, including learning disabilities, anemia, growth problems and behavioral issues.

Dr. Rangan offers these 10 tips for lead poisoning prevention:

  1. Make sure your children do not chew on painted surfaces, such as toys or window sills.
  2. Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord, especially if you live in a home built before 1978.
  3. Cover paint that is peeling or chipping with duct tape until it can be removed.
  4. Ask your doctor to screen your young children for lead even if they seem healthy.
  5. Necklaces and bracelets, watches, as well as religious jewelry from neighboring countries have been found to contain lead.
  6. Keys may have small amounts of lead in them – do not let babies play with or teethe on a keychain.
  7. Local water supplies are testes regularly for contaminants, including lead.  Occasionally older pipes in your home may gradually leech lead into your tap water.  If you are concerned about your tap water, run the faucet for a few minutes before using cold water for cooking, drinking or preparing infant formula (this can help flush out the lead which can build up in sitting water), especially if the cold water hasn’t been used in the past two hours.
  8. Avoid eating foods that are canned outside the United States.
  9. Be aware that lead has been found in some candy and its packaging imported from Mexico and neighboring countries.  Spices from these countries, especially chili or tamarind, may contain high amounts of lead.
  10. Folk medicines (especially home remedies) imported from another country may also contain lead. These include: pay-loo-ah (fever and rash treatment); Azarcon  (also called Maria Luisa, Liga, Alarzon, Greta, Coral and Rueda); Asian folk remedies and cosmetics, including Ghasard, Bali Goli, andKandu; and Middle Eastern cosmetics and folk remedies, including kohl, farouk and bint al zahab.

Call California Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222 for more information on lead poisoning.  Trained certified pharmacists, nurses and poison information providers to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The service is free, confidential and interpreters are always available.

-Dan, TGPR