San Bernardino County launches campaign to increase awareness of childhood lead poisoning (10/21/2022)

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health commemorates Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23 – 29, with a week-long information campaign about childhood lead poisoning issues. Our campaign message this year is, “Protect your family from lead in drinking water, especially during lead service line replacement.” The week-long campaign will educate families and community members about ways to prevent lead poisoning and the importance of testing children for lead.

The campaign will include the display of street banners in the cities of Colton, Fontana, and Ontario, Mailing out information and materials to local agencies and businesses, and social media posts. Public Health will also partner with cities including Fontana, Redlands, and Upland to proclaim October as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. San Bernardino County will partner with California Department of Public Health who will host webinar sessions about preventing lead exposure in drinking water and lead service line replacement. All sessions are free and open to the public. Additional information, including times and registration links, will be available at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/CLPPB/Pages/LeadWeek2022.aspx

“The purpose of this campaign is to remind parents that lead poisoning can be detrimental to young children’s health and development. It’s important for parents to ask their child’s doctor about blood lead testing,” stated Dr. Michael A. Sequeira, Health Officer.

Lead poisoning can seriously affects a child’s brain and nervous system. It can cause learning and behavioral problems. A blood lead test is the only way to identify and confirm lead poisoning in children.

In California, children can be exposed to lead by ingesting lead-contaminated dust, paint chips from deteriorating lead-based paint, and lead-contaminated soil. Other sources of lead poisoning include lead dust brought home on parents’ work clothes, certain imported ceramic pottery, painted objects traditional home remedies, and imported spices, candies, and other food products. Additionally, activities that involve lead products such as soldering, making stained glass, and handling bullets or fishing sinkers can put children at risk.

All parents and caregivers of young children are invited to call 909-383-3022 or visit www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/clppb for more information on program services or ways to protect their children from this silent and serious environmental disease.