More than 3 million U.S. families risk serious harm to their children’s health because of lead-based paint in the home, according to U.S. health, housing and environmental agencies.
Many homes built before 1978 still have the original lead-based paint, which can seep into the bloodstream.
Even low levels of lead in the blood can have an irreversible toxic effect. Lead poisoning can lower a child’s IQ and the ability to pay attention in the classroom and at home. Other symptoms are abdominal pain, fatigue, hearing loss and seizures, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Living near industrial plants that work with lead, exposure to lead-containing products like leaded crystal glassware or recently emigrating from a country with high levels of lead in the environment also can put children at increased risk of lead poisoning.