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EAST LOS ANGELES : Speakers on Lead Poisoning Sought

November 27, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

Volunteers are needed to learn how to be community speakers to teach parent groups and others about lead poisoning.

The East/Northeast Networking Roundtable, a group of Eastside educators and health and social workers, will offer a free daylong workshop Dec. 8 to teach volunteers to talk to community, church and parent groups about the dangers of lead poisoning in the development of children.

A 1988 report of the California Commission for Economic Development estimated that 350,000 California children may have lead poisoning. One of the main sources of lead is old homes, built usually before 1950. Los Angeles County has 40% of the state's old housing stock.

Other sources include paint, tainted soil, home remedies, cosmetics from other countries and hobbies such as soldering, stained glass and ceramics.

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage and neurological problems. Some of the symptoms include hearing loss, fatigue, sleeplessness and loss of appetite.

Health officials believe many learning disorders may be the result of lead poisoning, but if parents and teachers do not know how to detect the symptoms and have the child tested, the problems can get worse, said Fernando Bravo, public health administrator for the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center.

Children are at a special risk because their bodies are still developing and more easily absorb the lead. Babies are especially susceptible because they put more objects that may contain lead, including toys, into their mouths as part of their normal development.

The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Centro Maravilla, 4716 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. Space is limited and registration is required. Deadline to register is Dec. 1.

Information: (213) 738-2542.

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