Atlanta – There is no safe amount of lead in a child’s blood. Even small amounts of lead can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties and other medical issues – all of which may be permanent. However, legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp, bolsters protection for Georgia children who may be exposed to lead.
The amount of lead in blood is referred to as the blood lead level, which is measured in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL). The new Georgia legislation lowers the threshold for confirmed lead poisoning from 20 to 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter. The level is now consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“DPH is extremely grateful to the members of the General Assembly and the Governor for their decisive action which allows for a more robust program for identifying and preventing cases of lead poisoning, and protecting the children of Georgia,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
Those most at risk include children under six years of age, children living at or below the federal poverty level, pregnant women, and those who live in older housing. Often, there are no obvious symptoms of lead exposure.
A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning. A small amount of blood is taken from a finger or heel prick or from a vein in the arm. Based on your child’s blood lead test results, healthcare providers can recommend follow-up actions and care. DPH strongly urges parents to have their children tested for lead.
Lead can be found in many places in a child’s environment, but lead exposure is preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead.
Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1.
This free one-hour event is geared toward 3rd through 8th grade students, and they’re perfect for classrooms and homeschool families.
The National Hurricane Center will be conducting a live webinar from the Hurricane Awareness Tour in New York City about hurricanes that will focus on the job of a meteorologist, the weather hazards that come with hurricanes, and how meteorologists get you the weather information you need before a storm. Participants will have the opportunity to ask forecasters questions. Registration is required.
This event will take place on WebEx and live streamed on YouTube. The webinar is hosted by the Inner Space Center project Hurricanes: Science and Society, located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.