LEAD POISONING PREVENTION
The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning comes from lead paint dust in homes built prior to 1978. Even a tiny amount of lead dust can cause significant harm for young children as their brains are still developing, including behavior problems, learning disabilities, hearing damage, speech delays, and lower intelligence.
Not only is this a serious health concern among children under the age of six, but it is 100% PREVENTABLE and CHCC has the resources to help:
Funds to help landlords remove lead paint safely
Access to free test kits for preschools and tenants
A cleaning schedule to prevent lead paint dust from spreading to areas in which your child may come in contact
Presentations and educational videos to raise awareness about the dangers of lead poisoning
Reach out today to access exclusive lead poisoning education resources, free testing kits, and funding for abatement in homes with lead paint.
NEW Blood Lead Testing Guidelines for Maine
Mandatory under Maine law, children must be tested for a blood lead level at age 1 and again at age 2. Dust from lead paint in older homes is the most common cause of childhood lead poisoning. There is no safe level of lead in the blood, and young children are at the greatest risk for lead poisoning.
Effective October 1, 2022, providers should confirm all capillary blood lead levels of 3.5 ug/dL or higher with venous samples. Previously, the guidelines only required confirmation at a level of 5ug/dL or higher. This change aligns with the U.S. CDC’s recently updated blood lead reference value of 3.5 ug/DL.
City of Biddeford's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program
The City of Biddeford’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program is an initiative to achieve lead-safe homes in Biddeford. The program is funded by HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes and is offered by the City of Biddeford in partnership with Community Concepts and the Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition.
As one of Maine’s oldest mill towns, Biddeford is one of five high-risk areas designated by the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) for having the greatest burden of children with lead poisoning. There are approximately 950 children under age six living in just over 5,000 housing units within the qualifying downtown area.
To learn more about how landlords can apply for the City of Biddeford Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant, visit their website at www.biddefordmaine.org.
Lead Safe Units in Biddeford
Did you know there is a map of lead-safe units in Biddeford? Click on the map below to find all of the apartment units that have been made lead-safe by the City of Biddeford's Safe Homes for Healthy Families program. To learn more about the City’s Program, click here.
How Toxic is Lead Paint?
Learn how to prevent and stop potential harm.
Check out this interview with the City of Biddeford’s Lead Program Director Gail Wilkerson as she explains the effects of lead poisoning on young children; cleaning procedures; free testing and relocation to protect children; and funding available to landlords for abatement and healthy home inspections for fire/carbon monoxide safety upgrades. For questions about Biddeford’s program, call Gail at 207-284-9115 ext. 6 or visit the City of Biddeford’s website linked here. and check out the program flyer below
Is Your Yard Lead Safe?
Young children are vulnerable to exposure to lead because of lead dust that gets on their hands from the floor, toys that contain lead, or from playing in the dirt. Now that kids are playing outside more, look for potential lead dust exposure.
Keep outdoor play areas away from old buildings and water runoff areas, and keep sandboxes covered to prevent lead contamination when not in use. If you live in a home or apartment built before 1978, test for lead. Click here to find affordable soil testing options.
Remember to wash children’s hands often, after play and before eating, put up barriers to keep small children away from high-risk areas, and tell your pediatrician that your child may be at higher risk for lead poisoning if you live in an older home and get them tested.
*Pediatricians are required to test all children at their one- and two-year well-child visits.
What can you prevent childhood lead poisoning?
Everyone plays a part in childhood lead poisoning prevention. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers free lead test kits, as well as a wealth of information specifically for families, landlords, and homeowners (click above pictures). In addition, the City of Biddeford has partnered with us to run a Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program. Visit the City of Biddeford website now to learn more about this community lead poisoning prevention initiative.