Homes/buildings that were built before 1978 may contain lead-based products. Lead is a metal found naturally in the earth’s surface. Lead can also be produced from burning fossil fuels, manufacturing and mining. Lead is used to produce many items such as batteries, pipes and metal parts for machinery. Because of health concerns, its use has been discontinued in many products such as paint, fuel and kitchenware.
Lead in Drinking Water
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the major source of lead exposure for children in the U.S. is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. However, lead levels can still be present in drinking water. The most common source of lead in drinking water is from leaching household plumbing. Drinking water with more than 15 ppb of lead over long periods of time can cause health effects.
Lead Exposure in Children
Jefferson County Public Health recommends that anyone who has questions or concerns regarding a child’s exposure to lead please contact their primary doctor to set up an appointment for a lead exposure screening. If you are unable to schedule an appointment with your primary healthcare provider, call Jefferson County Public Health (303-232-6301) for resources in our community.
In addition, because lead exposure can come from many environmental sources, parents are reminded that providing children with healthy foods high in calcium, iron and vitamin C may help keep lead out of the body. Calcium is in milk, yogurt, cheese and green, leafy vegetables like spinach. Iron is in lean red meats, beans, peanut butter and cereals. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, green and red peppers and juice. You may also find information on lead in drinking water on the Environmental Protection Agency website.