FACT SHEET: HEALTH EFFECTS OF LEAD
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Follow consumer advisories for flushing water to reduce lead exposure through drinking water. Consumer advisories
for District of Columbia residents are available on EPA's website - http://www.epa. gov/dclead/#consumer - and are
summarized in the tip sheet, Getting the Lead out of DC Drinking Water.
What else can I do to protect my child?
In your home you can:
	Be alert for chipping and flaking paint. Use only safe interior paints on toys, walls, furniture, and other items.
	Don't use pottery for cooking or serving if you are unsure about its glaze.
	Don't store food in open cans.
If you work with lead:
	Don't bring it home with you. Shower and change clothes before coming home.
	Wash your clothes separately from your family's clothes.
	Follow all occupational safety guidelines for cleaning and storing work clothes and equipment.
With your child:
	Make sure children eat nutritious, low-fat meals high in iron, vitamin C, and calcium. Include dairy products
such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Children with good diets absorb less lead.
	Keep children from chewing on window sills or other painted surfaces.
	Wash children's hands often, especially before they eat and before naptime and bedtime.
	Keep play areas clean. Wash bottles, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals regularly.
	Don't allow your child to eat snow or icicles, especially if you live in an old neighborhood where houses may
have been painted with lead paint.
Can children be tested to determine if they have been exposed to lead?
The level of lead in your blood can be tested, and early detection means early intervention.
	A screening blood test can reveal if there is an elevated level of lead in your child's blood.
	A second blood test is usually done if a child's screening test shows that lead may be present. Other tests
may be necessary.
	Follow-up questions will be asked to learn about the child's behavior, health, and symptoms; anything the
child has chewed on or swallowed; possible sources of lead; and the child's diet and/or family medical
history.
	Other measures may include home inspection for lead sources, or advice about how to protect children.
How can I determine if my child should be screened?
In general, all high-risk children need screening. Children under the age of 6 may be at high risk if they:
	Have had a brother or sister with symptoms of lead exposure.
	Live in an area that has a high number of older homes (built before 1950).
	Live in or regularly visit a home built before 1950.
	Live in or regularly visit a home built before 1975 that has recently been remodeled.
	Live in or regularly visit a residence served by a lead service line.
The DC Department of Health (DOH) will provide FREE BLOOD SCREENING for pregnant women, children
under 6 but older than 6 months, and breastfeeding mothers for residents whose homes are served by a lead service
line. Call (202) 671-0733 for more information.
For more information on the health effects of lead, visit EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/dclead/health.htm.
call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD, or call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800)
426-4791.

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