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Agency Urges Testing for Lead Poisoning

July 21, 1998|NICK GREEN

The estimated 4,000 Ventura County children who suffer unhealthful levels of lead in their blood are the targets of this week's observance of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week by the Ventura County Public Health Department.

The campaign, "Lead Free Healthy Me," includes a lead-poisoning prevention class that addresses risks and common sources of lead in the home and encourages parents to have children up to 2 years old be tested for lead. Those who are tested will receive a T-shirt with the campaign slogan.

"Lead poisoning is the most common public health problem facing children today," said Alice Edwards, a nurse from the lead-poisoning prevention program, who hopes 500 children will be tested in the area as a result of the campaign.

Although lead has been eliminated from gasoline, paint and other consumer products, a threat to children's health still exists, public health officials said.

Significant amounts of lead-based paint remain in older homes. In addition, such things as imported pottery or dust on the clothes of people who work in auto repair shops can expose children to lead.

Lead is particularly dangerous to children younger than 6 and can affect their growth, behavior and ability to learn.

For more information or to have your child tested, call (888) 700-5323 or 652-3347.

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