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EPA Works to Prevent Lead Poisoning in Children

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 23-29

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 23-29, 2011 to raise awareness of lead poisoning in children. For children, even low levels of exposure to lead can cause a host of developmental effects such as learning disabilities, decreased intelligence and speech, language, and behavioral problems, which can affect children for a lifetime.

"Lead poisoning can have life-altering health effects, especially on our children. But it is entirely preventable if we take the right steps to protect our children in all the places where they live, learn and play," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. "National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to strengthen our awareness and prevention efforts and ensure parents have the tools they need to protect their children against lead exposure every day of the year."

Major sources of lead exposure among children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead most commonly occurs in the environment as a result of improper repair or renovation of pre-1978 homes. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, underscores the importance of testing your home and your child, and getting the facts about how to prevent serious health effects.

Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your children:

· Get your home tested. Have your home inspected if you live in a home built before 1978.

· Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.

• Get the facts. Visit leadfreekids.org or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

More information on lead poisoning prevention: http://www.leadfreekids.org or http://www.epa.gov/lead

In Espanol: http://www.leadfreekids.org/espanol

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