National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 18, 2010
The health district will offer free blood lead screenings between 10 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18 at the WIC Henderson clinic, 215 Palo Verde Ave., and between 10 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the WIC Owens clinic, 1501 Las Vegas Blvd, North. The health district will also offer free, walk-in blood lead screenings for children between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28 at its 625 Shadow Lane public health center. For information, contact the health district’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP), (702) 759-1283 or visit www.SNHD.info.
The Southern Nevada Health District and UNLV’s School of Public Health are working together as part of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, which tracks, investigates and provides support for children exposed to lead. By educating parents and health care providers about the dangers of lead and how to avoid exposure, the program can help prevent childhood lead poisoning.
The health district offers blood lead screening through its Healthy Kids clinic each Wednesday between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at its 625 Shadow Lane location. The clinic screens children between the ages of 12 months and six years old, the cost is $20. Screening can also be done by a child’s physician. It is recommended that children be tested for lead exposure at 12 months and again at 24 months of age, or once between the ages of three and six if he has not been tested previously.
As part of the CLPPP, the health district provides environmental investigations and case management services when a child is found to have elevated blood lead levels. The inspection is conducted to identify the source of the lead exposure and includes an examination of traditional sources (such as paint, tiles) and non-traditional sources (imported candies, toys, jewelry, and crockery). Case management is also provided, which coordinates services between the family and the healthcare provider.
Lead is a metallic element that can be absorbed by the body and is listed as a known carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory. Lead poisoning is the result of an accumulation of lead in the blood, bone and other tissues after exposure to contaminated materials including lead-based paint, soil, household dust, pottery and cookware. Children absorb lead more easily than adults, making them particularly susceptible to the adverse affects of lead. In children six and younger, lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems and, at very high levels, 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.