Lead has been shown to have many harmful effects in growing children, especially between the ages of 9 months and 6 years. Even low levels of lead can cause life-long brain damage. Higher levels can cause pregnancy problems, high blood pressure, learning disabilities, more serious brain and nerve damage, and even death.
We work to prevent a child from ever being lead poisoned and to eliminate this disease through education, lead screening, hazard identification and reduction, and a variety of other preventive services.
Philadelphia landlords must ensure that property rented
to families with children 6 years and younger is lead safe.
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Education and Outreach »
We provide free educational outreach presentations on preventing lead poisoning to groups of any size.
We work with the Philadelphia court system to make sure property owners who are issued lead hazard violation notices take appropriate action to make the property lead-safe.
Environmental Investigations »
We provide free environmental investigations of the homes of children with blood lead elevations.
Hazard Control »
We provide information and free monthly classes to educate people how to safely remove lead paint hazards.
Lead poisoning happens when a child beathes in or ingests lead from old, cracked, or peeling lead paint that has broken down into dirt or dust. Lead can also be brought into the house by pets, and on toys, shoes, work clothes or uniforms. All young children put their fingers in their mouths. If they have touched anything with lead dust or dirt on it, they can be poisoned.
It is not easy to tell if a child has been lead poisoned. The symptoms of lead poisoning are similar to those of healthy children, including:
If you work with paint, machines, building construction, dirt or soil, you should leave work clothes at work, or change before you touch your child. Wash your children’s hands, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals before eating or napping. "Wet wipe" hard surfaces like floors and windows at least once a week. Never cook with hot water, always start with cold. Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables to remove chemicals or "pesticides" which may contain lead. Foods high in calcium, iron, and Vitamin C can help keep your child healthy and lead free.
The good news is that average blood lead levels for both children and adults have dropped more than 80 percent since the late 1970s. The bad news is that blood lead levels remain higher among children in low-income families, especially those living in older housing where leaded paints may have been used.
Test your child for lead poisoning at 9 months old and each year until they are age 6. Ask your healthcare provider for more information.
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Bureau of Occupational and Industry Safety:
licensing and certification:
Alliance for Healthy Homes:
lead and healthy homes advocacy
American Lead Poisoning Help Assoc., Inc., (ALPHA):
support to families with lead poisoned children
Center for Environmental Health:
promotes non-toxic products and practices
Home Safety Council:
national non-profit dedicated to preventing home injuries
local health information resource
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY):
child advocacy organization
Cocciardi and Associates, Inc.:
PA Safety, Health and Environmental Consulting and Training (Lead School)
The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program (PA IPM):
safe, effective pest management
toy and child safety recall tips for parents:
Online Resource for Recalls:
comprehensive government recalls
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
consumer safety and product recalls
Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of Phila, Inc., (Concilio):
Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc., (SEAMAAC):
Southeast Asian and African communities:
National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC):