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What Parents Can Do to Protect from Health Hazards in the Home

As parent-activist Katie Acton says, “We just want to do the best for our children.” But how can we do so when it starts to seem that every breath, bite and step we take is loaded with danger? Taking it slowly, cleaning up the house is not as hard as it might seem.


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Lead


• Test your children for lead. A recent EPA study recommends testing children’s blood for lead regularly until they are 6 years old and taking action on any reading higher than five micrograms per deciliter. At the very least, make sure your pediatrician follows the state mandate for testing at ages 1 and 2.


• Suspect your drinking water. The EPA estimates that 20 percent of lead intake is from drinking tap water. (It’s not the water supply; it’s the solder in the pipes.) Always let the faucet run a full minute in the morning to flush out the lead that may have leached into the water overnight. For more information, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.


• Seventy-five percent of lead poisoning is estimated to come from lead paint. Before attempting any renovation, talk to a contractor who is experienced with lead containment and abatement. Call the Lead Hotline: 212-BAN-LEAD (226-5323).




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• Take your shoes off before entering your home.


• Try to keep a window open because fresh air prevents toxins from building up.


 


Above All


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