Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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October 17, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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October 17, 2001
 

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County News Wednesday, Oct 17, 2001 7" BE :i~i! i~iiii:iii!,!iii!~iii!!!~i: : tO credit i approval By Victoria Metcalf Staff Writer No confirmed cases of lead poisoning have been reported in Plumas County, but that doesn't mean residents should ignore the possibili- ties. In observing National Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 21-27, Gwen Mansbridge, public health nurse and childhood lead prevention coordinator, is reminding residents that hazards do exist. Homes and buildings built before the 1960s pose the highest risk of containing lead-based paint, Mansbridge said. And Plumas County-- especially certain areas--has its share of homes built prior to that date. Dangers Lead poisoning can damage a child's brain and nervous system, cause learning and behavioral problems; none of it is reversible, Mansbridge explained. "It can cause lots of minor, subtle changes," Mansbridge said about what parents and child care providers should watch for. Fatigue and "tum- my aches," are just two of the more common symptoms. Lead poisoning is especial- ly dangerous for children un- der the age of 6 because their rapidly growing and develop- ing bodies absorb more lead. A blood lead test is the only way to identify and confirm lead poisoning in children, she said. Lead poisoning tests aren't automatically run for all children, so parents pet or other areas. They can also ingest them outdoors in areas where the particles have settled. Lead-basedrpaint doesn't have to be eaten. It can be in- gested through the skin, where it attacks soft body tis- sue and the brain, Mansfield said. Lead in paint isn't the only source for concern. Some pot- tery from Mexico contains lead, as do some candy and food products from that coun- try, Mansbridge explained. It can also be found in tack- leboxes in the form of lead sinkers used for fishing, in workshops where sportsmen reload their own shells, in welding shops for soldering, in stained glass, and other ar- eas. Prevention Parents and caregivers can take simple steps to prevent childhood lead poisoning. These include: Frequently washing chil- dren's hands and toys; Keeping homes clean from dust by wet mopping and washing surfaces; Wiping or removing shoes before entering a home; Hiring a certified "lead-safe" inspector and following lead- safe work practices when painting or remodeling a home that contains lead- based paint. Good nutrition practices are also important. Children should eat three meals and two healthy snacks each day, including calcium-rich foods