October 6 is Lead Poisoning Prevention Day in Minneapolis

October 3 – 9 is Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Minnesota, and as part of this Mayor R.T Rybak has declared Wednesday, Oct. 6, Lead Poisoning Prevention Day in Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health,Hennepin County and other community-based partners will host "Keeping Minneapolis’ Children Lead Free: A Celebration of a Decade of Lead Poisoning Prevention Efforts" as part of this day.

The event, happening at Harrison Community Center, 503 Irving Ave. N. from 4:30 –6:30 p.m., will include information about preventing and removing lead poisoning hazards in the home, free lead testing for children up to the age of 6, and demonstrations and information on various other strategies for having a healthy home. Resources will be available in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. The overall aim of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is to build awareness in communities about childhood lead poisoning and to get parents, health care providers, housing authorities, building and construction interests, educators and others working together to prevent children being exposed to lead in the environment

In 2009, more than 1,500 Minneapolis children were exposed to levels of lead that are linked to adverse health outcomes. Elevated exposures to lead, also known as lead poisoning, can slow a child’s growth, damage hearing, cause behavior problems, and make it harder for children to concentrate or do well in school. Lead poisoning is completely preventable if parents and other caregivers know how to protect our children from lead exposure.

Education and outreach City-wide on lead poisoning prevention strategies has lead to the increase in children being screened for lead poisoning. In 2009, 6,762 children between the ages of one and two were screened for lead poisoning.

The efforts of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minnesota Department of Health, and our community-based partners have also been effective in reducing the number of elevated cases within the City of Minneapolis. In 1995 there were 1,072 children between the ages of one and two who had elevated blood lead levels in Minneapolis. In 2009, only 122 children in the city between the ages of one and two had elevated lead levels.

Lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 remains the primary source of lead poisoning for children. In Minnesota, there are an estimated 1 million homes that contain lead paint. But other sources exist as well: lead in toys, chalk, plumbing and even some foods. Other ways children could come in contact with lead include, but are not limited to, remodeling being done in the home, someone in the household who works with lead (paint removal, remodeling, electronics, ceramics, automotive repair) a sibling that has an elevated blood lead level, and or playing outside in soil or sand that maybe contaminated (contaminated soil is more likely near busy roads or highways).

The Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support to determine your child’s lead exposure and whether you need to have your child tested. The Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support can also help you learn how to reduce and prevent lead exposures in your home or neighborhood.


Oct. 06, 2010

Published Oct. 6, 2010