In New Hampshire, we take seriously our role as stewards of the next generation, and know that our ability to raise strong, healthy children who will contribute to our communities tomorrow requires making sure they have every opportunity for healthy development today.
In states like ours, with lots of homes built before the 1978 ban on lead-based paint, it is unfortunately too common that children are exposed to lead.
While most adults know that children can get lead poisoning from ingesting lead-based paint, from paint chips for example, many of us aren't aware that lead paint can deteriorate and create lead-contaminated dust in the home, which settles on floors, windowsills, toys, even in the soil. The most common way children are poisoned is from inhaling or ingesting lead DUST.
That's also why it is important that home repairs and renovations are done in safe ways. The common practices of sanding or scraping even a small area in an older home can create a lead hazard, jeopardizing the health of our children.
Exposure to lead is particularly dangerous for young kids, especially between the ages of zero to six when the brain is rapidly developing. The health effects are permanent, irreversible and can include cognitive impairment, attention disorders and loss of IQ. Even a low level of exposure can have adverse consequences.
The good news is that lead exposure is preventable. And, even for children who have been exposed, there are steps that can prevent further exposure. See our Preventing Exposure to Lead sections here on the website for more information, and check out our infographics: How To Keep Kids Lead Free infographic and our guide for expecting and new parents, Keeping Kids Lead Free Starts in Pregnancy.