The goal of the Lead Safe Richmond Program is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the City of Richmond. Childhood lead poisoning is a completely preventable disease that may be caused by a number of sources in a child’s environment. However the most common source is chipping/peeling paint and lead contaminated dust (from lead-based paint) in houses built before 1978.
STEPS TO HELP PREVENT LEAD POISONING
- Wet clean floors and windowsills in the home regularly
- Wash children’s hands and toys frequently
- Be aware of chipping paint in the home. Use lead-safe practices to make sure painted surfaces are maintained or repaired. Improper paint repairs could create more hazardous lead poison conditions. Call the Health Department for advice.
- Be aware of toys, jewelry, dishes, pottery, and foods that may contain lead.
- Be aware of hobbies or jobs that may involve working with lead (stained glass making, pottery, painting/construction work).
Lead interferes with normal brain development and may cause reduced intelligence, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities in children. Children who have lead poisoning may not show any early signs or symptoms. Therefore, having your child tested is the only way to know for sure whether he/she is lead poisoned. Ask your child’s doctor to perform this simple test.
Research has shown that it may be possible for pregnant women to pass lead to their unborn fetus. Therefore, pregnant women should take certain precautions to protect themselves and their unborn child. This is especially important if they work in an industry that may expose them to lead or if they suspect that they were lead poisoned as a child. The Lead Safe Richmond Program provides lead education, screening, and free lead risk assessments/inspections for lead poisoned children. Please call (804) 205-3726 for information.