News Release

Contact: Sarah McKenzie, 612-673-2786

Three free lead testing events scheduled this June, more throughout summer

High levels of lead can damage children’s brains and nervous systems

June 2, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) Children and pregnant or nursing women can have their blood tested for lead at free events this summer. Families can also learn more at the events about the City of Minneapolis grant program that will test homes for lead poisoning hazards and fix them – such as replacing windows that have lead in them for free.

In 2016, 158 children in Minneapolis had lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is a hazard because children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to their brains and nervous systems. Lead poisoning can slow a child’s growth, damage hearing, cause aggressive behavior problems, reduce IQ and make it harder to concentrate or do well in school. Lead in pregnant women can be transferred to the fetus, and lead in a nursing mother can transfer to the child. Lead can also cause miscarriages and reproductive problems in adults.

Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

Free lead testing events in June

Hawthorne Neighborhood Council’s Hot Dog Day
1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 4
2944 Emerson Ave. N.

Folwell Neighborhood Resource Fair ice cream social
5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15
1315 Penn Ave. N.

HUB Healthy Homes Health Fair
6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 22
3120 Washburn Ave. N.

Parents and other caregivers need to know how to protect children from lead exposure. 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 with 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 remodeling being done in the home, someone in the household who works with lead (paint removal, remodeling, electronics, ceramics, automotive repair), and playing outside in soil or sand that may be contaminated. Contaminated soil is more likely near busy roads, highways or within two feet of a house or garage that was painted with lead paint. Nutrition is also important. Children who get enough iron, vitamin C and calcium are less likely to absorb lead.

For information and resources click here or call 311.

Video

Learn how to identify lead paint and protect your family from the potential dangers of lead poisoning by watching this short video from the City of Minneapolis. It runs in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

 

Published Jun 2, 2017

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