Despite efforts at education and prevention, children in Guilford County continue to be exposed to lead hazards such as peeling lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust, mini-blinds and other sources. One of our challenges includes the increase in elevated blood lead levels in refugee or immigrant children.
Nationally, about half a million children in the United States have been diagnosed with blood lead levels that are high enough to cause them harm. North Carolina has state regulations concerning lead poisoning and prevention that were updated in July 2017. The new regulations lowered the blood lead action level for children and now includes a blood lead action level for pregnant women.
Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable with the proper education and training. The Guilford County Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Division offers FREE blood lead test for children under the age of six in Greensboro and High Point. A variety of materials are distributed locally, in many different languages to parents, contractors and health care providers. In addition to educational materials and recommendations, the Department also offers the Preventive Maintenance Program to help homeowners and landlords identify potential lead hazards and eliminate or reduce them by using lead safe work practices.
For more general lead information, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD, 422 South Clintin Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, or visit www.epa.gov/lead.
For more local and state information regarding statistics, regulations or educational materials, please contact Guilford County Department of Public Health at 336-641-3771, or visit State of North Carolina Children’s Environmental Health Branch.
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