Lead is a poison that affects nearly every system in the body, including the brain and nervous system. Lead is especially dangerous to children under the age of six, as their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead and their growing bodies absorb more lead.
Between 2015 and 2018, 1,763 young children were identified for having elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs), as ‘new cases reported to Allegheny Health Department (ACHD).’ According to recent ACHD inspections, the top sources of lead poisoning are paint, dust, and soil.
Lead poisoning contributes to:
There are no effective treatments for the permanent cognitive and behavioral damage that occurs when a toddler has lead poisoning.
Lead paint was commonly used until 1978. With 85% of our Pittsburgh-area homes built before 1978 and more than 1,700 new cases of lead poisoning in our children: we’ve got a problem.
When the lead paint chips, crumbles, begins peeling, or is disturbed by demolition/renovation, the resulting dust contains lead and poses a health risk.
Lead-containing pipes were used until 1986. These pipes can wear down and release lead into the drinking water. Plumbing fixtures and fittings can also contain lead, if they were purchased before 2014. All these sources present a health risk.
Municipal water authorities are required to test for lead in drinking water every three years. These utilities are required to maintain healthy drinking water.
Lead paint on the outside of buildings may weather and cause lead contamination in nearby soil. Demolished buildings or vacant lots may also have lead in the soil, especially if lead-containing products were used in the once-standing property.
Other sources of lead in soil are past use of leaded gasoline and industrial sites, such as smelters, batteries and incinerators.
Lead exposure is only a problem in low-income communities.
Water is the most prevalent source of lead poisoning in our community.
I just purchased my home, so I know it’s safe.
Adults aren’t affected by lead poisoning.
Effective treatments for lead poisoning are available.