/Health District to Offer Free Lead Screenings

Health District to offer free lead screenings

Recognizes Nat’l Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 19-25

October 15, 2008

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District and its partners will offer free blood lead screenings for children up to age six as part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Sunday, Oct. 19-Saturday, Oct. 25. In addition, Valley parents can bring bean pots, toys, jewelry, plates, or cups to the health district’s main location 625 Shadow Lane between 8:30 a.m. and 4p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22 to have them analyzed for lead content. For information, contact the health district’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP), (702) 759-1283 or visit www.SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org.

Blood lead testing will be available at the following locations:

Wednesday, Oct. 22 — 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Southern Nevada Health District
Ravenholt Public Health Center
625 Shadow Lane, 89106
Screenings: free for children under age six/$20 for children older than six

Thursday, Oct. 23 — 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Catholic Charities/WIC
1511 N. Las Vegas Boulevard, 89101
Screenings: children under age six

Friday, Oct. 24 — 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Pearson Community Center
1625 W. Carey, Avenue, 89106
Screenings: children under age six

Saturday, Oct. 25 — 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Southwest Medical Center
650 N. Nellis Boulevard, 89110
Screenings: children under age six

The CLPPP combines the work of health district staff from the environmental health division, nursing, and epidemiology departments to track, investigate, and provide case management for children with elevated blood lead levels or lead poisoning. The team identifies sources of lead in the home and provides additional education for family members and residents of the home.

In Clark County, one in four children younger than age six is exposed to lead. Between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, more than 2,000 children were exposed. Exposure occurs when products containing lead are ingested or inhaled, such as dust from lead-based paint chips. While lead-based paint is a culprit, other common sources of lead exposure include imported candies, ceramic bean pots, gold and costume jewelry, home remedies such as those used to treat stomach ailments, and contaminated soil that is ingested.

Children should have their blood lead levels tested at 12 months and again at 24 months. Children who were not tested at these ages should be tested at least once before the age of six. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 310,000 American children between the ages of one and five have elevated blood lead levels.

Young children, especially those age six and younger, absorb lead more easily than adults and they are more susceptible to adverse affects of lead. Due to the effect lead poisoning has on learning ability, particularly at early ages, children between the ages of three and 13 are considered an at-risk group. Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body and can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and, at very high levels, can cause seizures, coma, and even death.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.