News! Your home could be one of the homes that Los Angeles County will repair (for free) in order to eliminate lead. The County has received $134 million to repair approximately 5,000 homes.
Why? Before 1951, 720,000 homes built in the county were painted with paint that contained a great deal of lead. And lead in paint is extremely dangerous. Many of these homes are in South Los Angeles.
Serious problem for your family! Lead poisoning is a serious problem. It’s easy for you and your family to end up with too much lead in your bodies, even if your home was built in 1951 or later.
How can you tell? You could have lead in your body and not be aware of it.
Pregnant? You may not realize you are breathing lead or eating lead. The lead in your body can be passed to your unborn baby.
Risks for unborn babies! When you are pregnant, lead in your body can:
• put you at risk for miscarriage
• cause your baby to be born too early or too small
• hurt your baby’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system
• cause your child to have difficulty paying attention, and have other learning or behavior problems
Babies and toddlers Babies and toddlers are at great risk too. They are just learning to crawl or walk. They are exploring what’s around them, including lead chips on the floor, dust with lead, and lead in the soil outside.
Testing yourself, and your children Many women, babies and children have not been tested for lead levels in their bodies. It’s vital that you do so!
Where? Lead can be found in:
• paint and dust in older homes, especially dust when homes are renovated or repaired
• candy, makeup, glazed pots, and folk medicine made in other countries
• dirt and tap water
Lead from work Lead can also come from work like auto refinishing, construction, and plumbing.
Advice from WIC and the CDC When you follow this advice, everyone in your family will be safer from lead poisoning. If your children already have lead in their bodies, following this advice will help so they don’t get even more lead.
Talk to your doctor about getting your child and yourself tested for lead.
Watch out for lead in your home. Most lead comes from paint in older homes.
Avoid certain jobs or hobbies
• Making sinkers for fishing
• Making pottery
• Repairing cars or boats
It’s a problem if your children participate, and if you bring lead into the house.
Run water from the faucet until it becomes cold. Start with cold water when you’re cooking.
Don’t eat dirt! If you eat dirt or want to eat dirt, talk to your doctor!
Don’t eat certain foods and use certain cosmetics.
• Don’t eat anything brought into the U.S. by travelers from other countries. Certain candies, spices, and other foods contain small amounts of lead.
• Don’t use cosmetics brought into the U.S. from other countries.
Store and serve food the best way.
Some dishes, glasses, and serving containers may contain lead. It is important to cook, serve, and store your food carefully.
• Don’t use imported lead-glazed ceramic pottery
• Don’t use pewter or brass containers or utensils
• Don’t use leaded crystal to serve or store drinks
Eat foods with calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
These foods will help protect you and your unborn baby:
• Calcium in milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach
• Iron in lean red meat, beans, cereals, and spinach
• Vitamin C in oranges, green and red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and juices
Are you a WIC parent? If you’re on WIC, ask your WIC educator questions about lead.
• How can lead harm you, your unborn child or anyone else in your family?
• What can you do to avoid lead?
• Can eating certain foods help you and your family?