Cases of lead poisoning drop 70 percent for Detroit children

Low-income families most at risk for lead exposure

Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:43:43 AM EDT   Updated On: Feb 28 2013 02:45:21 PM EST
Detroit
DETROIT -

The number of Detroit children to experience lead poisoning dropped more than 70 percent, according to environmentalhealthnews.org.

The website says numbers plunged from 10,000 to 2,900 since 2004. They cite a newer law forcing landlords to check old homes and newly revised federal guidelines as an explanation for the drop in cases.

Under a 2010 law, Detroit landlords are required to inspect homes built before 1978.

If lead is found, the home cannot be rented out until it is cleaned up to state standards.

About lead poisoning:

Indoor dust is the major source of exposure.

Children can get lead poisoning a number of ways, including eating chips from peeling or cracking paint, eating other things that contain lead, or by putting their hands to their mouths after contacting peeling or cracking paint.

Children also contract the illness by breathing or swallowing lead from dust or dirt.

Low levels of lead affect children’s IQs, their ability to pay attention and how well they do in school, according to the CDC.

It also has been linked to violent and antisocial behavior.

Lead is commonly found in dust and chips from lead and paint

Colored print from old magazines and comic books

Food or drinks stored in glazed dishes

How to prevent lead poisoning?

Keep children away from things that may have lead.

Wash children's hands after play.

Plan regular eating times.

Feed balanced meals and snacks.

Give foods that are high in iron (lean meat, beans and peas).

Wet mop and sponge window sills and hard-surface floors.

Use only furniture and toys that are free of lead paint.

Use only paint that is made for indoor residential use.

Have home inspected if you have concerns.

Despite the drop in cases, the number of Detroit children with elevated lead levels still remains higher than the national average.

Low-income families are most at risk for lead exposure, reports environmentalhealthnews.org.