Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Marilou Yingling - Coordinator
(717) 849-2336 || firstname.lastname@example.org
How widespread is the problem of lead poisoning of children?
Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most widespread and serious public health problems facing our children today.
It has been known for decades that the ingestion of lead by children is harmful. This “silent epidemic” is a leading cause of nervous system damage and learning disabilities. Elevated blood lead levels can cause serious damage in the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. High blood lead levels can cause mental retardation, convulsions, coma, and even death. Lower blood lead levels can impair a child’s development, causing learning and behavioral problems.
Despite conscientious efforts by many, the goal to eliminate this hazard from our environment is unmet. Tens of thousands of children are being found with elevated blood lead levels each year, and yet “lead poisoning is preventable”. In 2003, approximately 18% of all children tested in the City of York had an elevated lead level.
It is critically important for everyone to know about and learn to recognize all potential sources of lead poisoning, to take every precaution, to recognize symptoms, to know what to do about lead poisoning, and to encourage appropriate public action.
Who gets lead poisoning and how do they get it?
The most common cause of lead poisoning in children is the ingestion of lead paint or dust that has been contaminated by deteriorated lead paint. Children living in homes built prior to 1978 are the most vulnerable. Every day hundreds of families unknowingly move into older homes having layers of lead-based paint on the walls, doors, windows – indeed most painted surfaces. Young children are more likely to ingest lead-based paint chips and lead contaminated dust because of normal hand-to-mouth activities. Ironically, they also suffer the greatest injury from the lead because their developmental systems are most vulnerable at that age.
Likewise, inhaling dust from blasting and home renovation (or sloppy deleading jobs), a child can become seriously poisoned. Other less common sources of lead include soil (contaminated with lead paint dust and/or years of lead gasoline emissions), air, drinking water, toys and ceramics, jewelry, industrial pollutions, imported canned foods and toys, and printed matter.
Adults have also been known to suffer neurological and renal damage from ingestion of lead. Pregnant women, in particular, are cautioned because the ingestion of any amount of lead from lead-based paint or any other sources could harm their developing baby.
Lead Poisoning Services
The City of York has been providing services to children and families since 1978. We offer free blood lead screening, case management of lead poisoned children, follow-up blood lead testing, education, and lead hazards risk assessments.
Childhood Lead Poisoning Screening Schedule
Albert S. Weyer Health Health Center
435 W. Philadelphia St .
Monday - 8:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.
Tuesday - 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Wednesday - 8:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M
By Appointment or in your home, call (717) 849-2343
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Staff
Marilou Yingling, Coordinator, has a worked with the City’s lead poisoning prevention program since 1978 and became the program coordinator in 1990. She is a member of the York County Headstart Program’s Health Advisory Committee and has participated in many Pennsylvania Department of Health committees to establish regulations, guidelines, procedures, and protocols. Marilou is one of very few working in Pennsylvania with 18 years or more experience in working with lead poisoning. Marilou can be reached at (717) 849-2336.
"Like" us on Facebook! Search York City Bureau of Health and click on "like." Thank you!