Lead Poisoning; Protecting Your Family - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Lead Poisoning; Protecting Your Family

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PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

October is Lead Poisoning Prevention Month and the Mississippi State Department of Health is urging Mississippi families to practice prevention. Children are often more at risk because their bodies can absorb lead more easily than adults.

Recently the Department of Health tested nearly 198,000 children in a recent survey and discovered 1,640 tested positive for lead poisoning. The children lived in 77 Mississippi counties.

The Health Department has now listed Hinds, Holmes, Warren and Yazoo counties as high risk areas for lead poisoning. The concentration of pre-1950's homes, poverty, and concentration of children under age six all can increase the risk factors.

Lead poisoning can be contracted in many ways and in many forms. Swallowing chipped paint, dust, or soil are the most common. It can also infect people when small particles of paint are inhaled.

Chewing on lead products like fishing weights and jewelry or drinking water from lead pipes are other ways lead can be spread.

Over time, even small amounts of lead can cause serious and permanent health problems. Brain and nervous system damage, learning disabilities and behavior problems are also possible, so the warning signs are extremely important.

Physicians say signs of lead poisoning include nausea, constipation, stomach pains, vomiting, loss of appetite and headaches.

Lead testing kits are available for purchase at most hardware stores and cost less than $10.00 in most cases.

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