October 19-25, 2014 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

October 19-25, 2014 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in the City of San Diego and throughout the United States.

The City of San Diego will join the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recognizing this year’s theme: “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future.”

The City of San Diego is committed to eliminating the threat of childhood lead poisoning from homes in our older communities. Lead is a highly toxic metal that at one time was an ingredient in many household products, including lead-based paints manufactured before 1979. The primary source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust and soil found in and around old, deteriorating buildings.

Today, childhood lead poisoning is considered to be the most preventable environmental disease of young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.  A simple blood test can help early identification of lead exposure to possibly prevent a lifetime spoiled by the irreversible damage caused by lead poisoning.  But it is important not to use children as lead detectors, so the key emphasis is elimination of lead sources before children can be exposed.

The City of San Diego is working alongside federal agencies to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States through a robust lead hazard control grant program, enforcement, and outreach. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week assists us to reach that important goal by:

  • raising awareness about this serious health issue;
  • emphasizing the importance of screening the highest risk children younger than 6 years of age, preferably screening them by 1 to 2 years of age;
  • emphasizing proper use of lead safe work practices by providing free training and information at home improvement stores; and
  • urging people to take steps to reduce their possible exposure to lead.

The City of San Diego’s Lead Hazard Prevention and Control Ordinance was developed to eliminate lead hazards before children and adults are lead poisoned .The ordinance, which became effective in May 2008, has specific requirements associated with:

  • requiring renovators to use lead-safe work practices when disturbing lead paint on pre-1979 housing and other structures;
  • requiring property owners to correct lead hazards in pre-1979 housing after notice of the lead hazard;
  • Requiring property owners to perform visual inspection and correction of presumed lead hazards prior to re-occupancy of a vacant rental unit;
  • requiring home improvement/water pressure equipment rental stores to make available lead education material to customers; and
  • requiring that childcare facilities obtain proof of blood lead testing at enrollment.

If you live in a pre-1979 house/apartment with chipped or peeling paint, or see work disturbing paint on older homes with paint chips/dust flying and not properly contained, contact us at lead-safe@sandiego.govor 858-694-7000.

For more information on the Ordinance, visit www.SDHealthyHomes.org and click on “Lead Hazard Prevention and Control Ordinance.”

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