Homes built before 1978 are at the greatest risk of containing lead-based paint and dust. Lead may also be brought into a home from certain jobs or hobbies, getting on surfaces that could potentially be harmful to children. Warren County Health Department Administrator Jenna Link advises parents and guardians to be aware of their surroundings:
“The paint that was used may potentially have lead in it and as it ages, it started to degrade and chip off. Then you can find it in dust and on window sills. Children six years and under, if you think about a child, toddlers are crawling around on the floor, they put things in their mouths a lot more, so they are way more prone to getting exposed to that. We do a lot of education about awareness and screenings, that is part of the screening process when you take your child in for their routine physicals. They will do a screening with you and ask about the living environment and how old your home is. Also, we shop online all the time and order and they come from other countries. They don’t have the same manufacturing requirements that we do in the United States. A lot of times you will see recalls on children’s toys or even clothing.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health offers cleaning practices to help keep your home lead free: vacuum with HEPA filters, wash bedding, wash stuffed animals, use soap and water, and wet mop hard surfaces.