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Berrien County
Health Department


2149 E. Napier
Benton Harbor, MI 49022



Office Hours:
8:30am-5:00pm, Mon-Fri

Phone: (269) 926-7121
Email: bchd@bchdmi.org



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Lead Poisoning Prevention - Information for Parents

The Facts About Lead:

  • Lead can affect children's brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, language delays, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Lead can also be harmful to adults, especially pregnant women.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible. It only takes a very small amount of lead in the body before there is a health risk.
  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.

 

Parents can take simple steps to make their homes more lead-safe:

  • Talk to the Health Department about testing paint and dust in your home if you live in a home built before 1978.
  • Common home renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint. These can be harmful to adults and children.
  • Renovation activities should be performed by certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.
  • If you see paint chips or dust in windowsills or on floors because of peeling paint, clean these areas regularly with a wet mop.
  • Wipe your feet on mats before entering the home, especially if you work in an occupation where lead is used. Removing your shoes when you are entering the home is a good practice to control lead.


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