James M. Adams, RS, MPH
Mark H. Adams, RS, MPH
Director of Environmental Health
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Canton City Health Department
420 Market Avenue, North
Canton, OH 44702
Lead Poisoning and Our Children
The Canton City Health Department is committed to helping the children in our community grow up healthy. We want parents, grandparents and care givers throughout our community to learn about lead poisoning and lead poisoning prevention. Although the United States has made great strides in reducing sources of lead in the environment, lead poisoning of thousands of children one year to six years of age occurs in our country each year.
Lead poisoning among children under six years of age is the number one environmental health risk they face. Hand to mouth activity of young children is the most common way lead enters the child’s body. Due to research being done and the ability to study the affects of smaller amounts of lead in the body, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered the threshold amount of lead that can cause harm in children ages one year to six years old. Currently, this threshold is 5 ug/dL (micrograms lead per deciliter of whole blood). Note that a microgram is about the size of a grain of sugar. Current research is showing that lead at lower amounts than this can cause loss of IQ points and other neurological damage. The threshold will likely be lowered pending future research findings.
Once lead is in a child’s body, it can do much damage; damage which can last a lifetime. Lead can affect all body systems. Lead can interfere with the child’s brain development which can cause learning problems, behavior problems, and delays in development which can make it difficult for a child to learn. Lead can damage the kidneys, and other major organs of the body. Lead has been shown to lower IQ, which can result in children not reaching their potential. In short lead poisoning can rob a child, possibly your child, of a better life.