Hi, my name is Tamara. I am Healthy Child Healthy World’s 2011 “Mom on a Mission.”
My mission? To educate parents and protect children from being poisoned by lead dust in their homes (like mine were)!
I didn’t know repainting the outside of my house would change my life, and create lifelong challenges for my two precious little boys! Lead poisoning doesn’t discriminate—all kids are poisoned just as easily/often. Most parents don’t test their kids because they don’t believe their home could have lead (The lead industry wanted us to think “lead isn’t something I have to be concerned with.”).
Lead poisoning causes permanent brain damage; it just takes a microscopic amount of lead dust to poison a child—you can’t even see it. If you have original painted windows in your historic home – the small amount of micro-dust produced by continually opening and closing those windows is enough to give your child a future of learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.
What can you do about it?
1. Get your windows replaced (with energy efficient ones) or seal them shut, so there are no moving surfaces to rub together (a bead of caulk will do it cheaply.)
2. Get tested for lead yourself before you bring a baby into this world—your blood lead level will give you an indication of whether or not there are hazards in your environment.
3. Get a hazard assessment of your home so you know where you need to work lead-safe in future renovations.
4. Get your baby tested for lead BEFORE they start to crawl so you have a reference level and can be sure there is no source of lead in the air around your baby.
5. Don’t put your baby’s crib next to any window in an older home.
6. Don’t bring any old/recycled painted items (windows, doors, siding, antiques) into your home!
7. Check recalled toys lists before bringing second-hand toys into your home.
8. Test your baby again after they are crawling – if they test positive (>2 BLL), you need to see what you can clean up to make sure your home is lead-safe.
9. If you see peeling or chipping paint anywhere in your home – test it (ask me for a free test kit) and clean it up immediately if it contains lead.
Learn more about Tamara and her mission at www.LeadSafeAmerica.org
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