Health officials: Lead exposure from paint is 100% preventable

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week takes place Oct. 24-30

Empty paint cans sit at a collection point. The manufacture and sale of lead paint is still permitted in over 55% of countries, presenting a continuing and future source of lead exposure for children and workers worldwide. (Photo by: Ken Welsh/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Empty paint cans sit at a collection point. The manufacture and sale of lead paint is still permitted in over 55% of countries, presenting a continuing and future source of lead exposure for children and workers worldwide. (Photo by: Ken Welsh/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) encourages to raise awareness of lead poisoning prevention and encourage preventive actions that will reduce the likelihood of childhood lead exposure by:

• Raising awareness about the health effects of lead exposure.

• Highlighting the efforts countries are taking to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children.

• Urging further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at the country level.

Paints can be manufactured without the addition of lead compounds. It is the responsibility of all countries to establish the necessary legally binding measures to stop the manufacturing, importing, exporting, distributing, and sale of lead paints in every country. The manufacture and sale of lead paint is still permitted in over 55% of countries, presenting a continuing and future source of lead exposure for children and workers.

• Lead is a well-recognized toxicant that has wide-ranging health impacts including brain and nerve damage, speech and language behavior problems, anemia, reduced growth, decreased mental ability and learning difficulties, hearing problems, high blood pressure, kidney damage, digestive problems, and reproductive problems (adults).

• Young children are particularly vulnerable because they have higher exposures than adults and because lead affects the developing brain, potentially resulting in reduced intellectual ability. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that in 2019 lead exposure accounted for 0.90 million deaths and 21.7 million years lost to disability and death due to long-term health effects, with the highest burden in developing regions.

• Even though there is wide recognition of the harmful effects of lead and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains of key concern to health care providers and public health officials worldwide.

• An important source of lead exposure, particularly in children, is paint containing high levels of lead. These paints are still widely available and used in many countries for decorative purposes, although good alternatives without added lead are available.

Central Michigan District Health Department serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit www.cmdhd.org, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow @CMiDHD on Twitter.