Advice available on how to prevent lead poisoning
(Plain Press, May 2018) Pamphlets and leaflets available in health clinics, libraries, recreation centers, health fairs and Cleveland City Hall provide help to parents or guardians looking for information on how to protect their young children from lead poisoning.
Some of the resources found by the Plain Press at local literature drops are listed below with a summary of the information they provide.
Legal Aid Pamphlet
Lead Poisoning: Know Your Rights, Remedies & Resourcespublished by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
The pamphlet notes some of the dangers of lead exposure. i.e. living in a home built prior to 1978 when lead paint was banned; exposure to peeling paint and patches of bare dirt.
The pamphlet also provides phone numbers to get your child tested and notes that testing of your child for lead poisoning with your doctor is free for Medicaid patients. Numbers to arrange testing of your home are also provided: Ohio Department of Health at 877-532-3723 or Cleveland residents can call 216-664-2175 for testing of their home for lead dust.
The pamphlet provides information on how tenants can put their rent in escrow while requesting their landlord make repairs necessary to help avoid exposure to lead dust.
The pamphlet also advises homeowners of assistance programs, available through city public health authorities, that assist with making a home lead safe. It also notes that federal law requires disclosure of any known lead hazard at the time of sale.
The pamphlet notes that lead poisoning “may have long term effects including attention difficulties, behavior problems or learning challenges.” It emphasizes that a nutritional diet may help children to avoid these consequences of lead exposure and provides an online resource for more information at: www.epa.gov/lead.
Under the heading, Early Intervention, the pamphlet notes that children under age three that have been exposed to lead may qualify for early intervention from Help Me Grow. The program can be reached at 800-755-4769.
The pamphlet also advises parents or guardians how they can get Special Education services for a child that has been lead poisoned. Another section of the pamphlet deals with how to file a personal injury suit if your child has been lead poisoned.
The Cleveland Department of Public Health has several one page documents that can be found in various locations in the neighborhood.
Nutrition and Lead Poisoning, issued by the Lead Safe Living Healthy Homes Program of the Cleveland Department of Public Health, is one such pamphlet. It notes that, “A healthy diet and regular meals will help protect children from absorbing lead.” It goes on to list categories of nutrients that will help your child to be less likely to absorb lead and some of the foods you can eat to get those nutrients. The nutrients listed are: calcium, Vitamin C and Iron. For more information, you can call the Department of Public Health at 664-5323.
Lead Safe Cleaning Tips, issued by the Lead Safe Living Healthy Homes Program of the Cleveland Department of Public Health, offers cleaning tips. The leaflet advises, “To help get rid of lead, you should use special cleaning methods. Sweeping or using a regular vacuum can spread lead dust.” The leaflet outlines the supplies you will need and gives directions on how to safely clean floors, windows and woodwork.
The Cleveland Department of Public Health also reprinted a one page document from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is titled Prevention Tips. The leaflet warns that children under age six and pregnant women should not be living in a house built before 1978 that is undergoing renovation. It talks about how to create barriers between your child and lead sources; advises regular washing of hands and toys; urges regular wet moping of floors and wet-wiping of window components; and calls on parents to prevent children from playing in bare soil, urging the use of sandboxes.
A leaflet circulated by Environmental Health Watch and the now closed Cleveland Tenants Organization is titled Protect Children from Lead in Soil.The pamphlet notes that “lead is in the soil around most homes in Cleveland.” It notes that lead in soil can poison young children, saying, “soil gets on children’s hands and toys. When children put their fingers and toys in their mouths, they eat lead.”
The leaflet urges covering bare soil to protect children from lead; giving children a safe place to play outside such as a sand box; and to stop dirt at the door by using a rug that is washed often and taking shoes off at the door. The flier urges vacuuming of carpets and washing of floors weekly. The flier also calls for frequent washing of hands, toys, bottles and pacifiers. It also calls for testing of children for lead poisoning. Environmental Health Watch can be reached at 216-961-4646.
In addition to the leaflets described above the Cleveland Department of Public Health has published a list of imported products that contain lead. The department also has two booklets it has published as part of its Lead Safe Living project. The booklets are titled: Lead and Pregnancy – Protect yourself and your baby; and Lead Can Harm Children – Keep your child safe.
The Department of Public Health also has another booklet it is working on and sent a pre-publication copy to the Plain Presstitled: Children’s Lead Levels – A guide for parents. To obtain more information about lead poisoning or to obtain copies of some of the publications described in this article, contact Case Manager Theresa Davis-Bowling of the Cleveland Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 216-420-7685 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.