Lead in Drinking Water
If you would like to have your home’s well water tested for lead, use a certified water testing company which can be determined through an online search. Lead is tested in municipal water; reports can be obtained by going to the website for your local municipality or contacting them by phone. Information about lead in in drinking water can be found by going to the following websites:
New regulations set by New York State have required that all school districts test their potable water sources by October 31, 2016. These tests were completed in Saratoga County; if levels were found to be elevated, repeat testing was required. All water testing results should be available on each district’s website; if you have further questions, please contact the New York State Department of Heath Regional District Office at 518-793-3893 or the Saratoga County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Coordinator at 518-584-7460 ext 8362.
Tips for Avoiding Lead
• Check for product recalls:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the New York State Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Program list products that have been recalled by the CPSC. If you own one, either discard the item or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
• Buy smart:
Particularly for metal toy jewelry, if the item is inexpensive yet is heavy for its size and looks like silver, it is possible that the item contains lead. Some experts have recommended that all metal children’s jewelry be avoided since it is difficult for a consumer to determine the lead content of the item. Also be aware of other hazards such as small parts and magnets.
• Observe your children:
Because lead is often on the surface of toys (such as painted items, lead-containing vinyl items which have aged or tattered, or jewelry with little or no coating over the leaded metal), there is potential risk of exposure. Since most children have frequent hand-to-mouth activity, it is particularly important to remove items that may contain lead. Frequent hand washing will help reduce lead intake from hand-to-mouth activity.
• Talk to your child’s pediatrician:
Exposure to lead from children’s products may result in elevated blood lead levels. Other sources of exposure such as lead paint can also poison a child. For lead in older wall paint, as little as a dime-size paint chip can result in lead poisoning. A blood test will not tell if the lead came from children’s toys or from leaded paint, but it can provide information to guide the parent to take precautions to prevent continuing exposure. A blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher is considered lead poisoning* and requires follow-up by your health care provider.
• Test items using methods available to the consumer:
Many hardware & home improvement stores sell testing kits that enable the consumer to test items for lead. While these kits have varying degrees of certainty, and are not as specific as a laboratory analysis, they can be used to determine whether high levels of lead are likely to be present.
Health Tip: To help block the storage of lead in your child’s body, serve your family meals that are low in fat and high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C such as: milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, spinach, collard greens, chicken, lean red meat, eggs, lentils, raisins, tuna fish, beans, broccoli, spinach, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, peppers, and tomatoes.
Health Tip: Lead particles can be cross the placental barrier in pregnant women and can be passed from mother to infant through breast milk. Speak to your OB-GYN if you’ve had a lead exposure to be tested for lead poisoning. Click here for the Saratoga County Public Health “Pregnancy & Lead Poisoning” Brochure.