Child Lead Poisoning
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Old Paint in Homes is Biggest Hazard

The recent recall of toys from China, including those from Mattel, have made issues of child lead poisoning major headlines in recent months.  Hundreds of thousands of imported toys have been pulled from store shelfs due to lead paint found on the toys.  Health officials fear that children will put the toys in their mouth or dust from the toys will get on a child's hands and then get placed in the mouth, causing the child to be lead poisoned.

    While toys with lead paint clearly pose a health hazard, by far the biggest environmental health hazard to children is lead paint and dust in older homes.  This is, and has been, the primary source of child lead poisoning for the last century.  In an article published today in the LA Times, this issue was specifically discussed by medical professionals most familiar with this issue.

 "By far and away historically, the major concern about sources for lead has been your home," said Dr. Helen Binns, a professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at Northwestern University's medical school.  Other health professionals cited in the article agree that toys with lead should be a concern, it is clear that the biggest lead paint threat still comes from deteriorated and flaking paint in older homes.

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