In Arizona, more than 800 children each year are identified with elevated blood lead levels (EBLL). Even at low blood lead levels, children’s intelligence, behavior, hearing and growth can be irreparably damaged.
To increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention, the Arizona Department of Health Services along with CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 25-31.
Here are 3 important things you can do to ensure the families you work with are protected:
1. Know if your families live in a high risk zip code. Check the attached list of high risk zip codes. If you have families that live in one of these areas:
- Help the family schedule an appointment with a provider.
- Have them get a lab slip for a blood LEAD test.
- Follow up to make sure that they went to la lab or provider’s office for blood draw. Results take 5-10 business days.
- Encourage families to follow-up with their provider to discuss results.
2. Get children tested at ages 1 & 2
Have families complete the high risk questionnaire. If they can answer “yes” or “uncertain” to any of the high risk questions, the Arizona Department of Health Services recommends that the child receives a blood lead test. People with lead poisoning usually look and feel healthy and show no signs of illness. The only way to detect lead poisoning is by asking your doctor to perform a simple blood test.
3. Be aware of sources
It’s not just paint. Help families protect their children by identifying sources of lead and minimizing exposure to those sources. A complete list of sources is available on the ADHS Website.
For more information check out lead poisoning prevention at azhealth.gov/lead.