Lead Poisoning Prevention

Image_EPAverticalWebBanner_2015.06.10 shared 6-23Young children are at the greatest risk of health problems related to lead exposure. Long-term exposure to lead in young children can cause reduced IQ and attention span, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and a range of other health and behavioral effects. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead poisoning is preventable if the source of lead is removed from a child’s environment. Common sources of lead include lead dust, lead-based paint, soil, food, water, folk medicine, candy, and imported pottery.

RiverStone Health follows up on cases of lead poisoning in young children in Yellowstone County by inspecting homes, and helping to coordinate referrals to community resources including WIC, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Periodic testing, good nutrition, and removal of any sources of lead can all help prevent lead poisoning.

For more information, please email lead@riverstonehealth.org.

For Homeowners and Contractors:

Many cases of lead exposure in young children result from eating lead-based paint chips. Although lead paint was banned in 1978, it still remains on the walls and woodwork of many older homes or apartments. In Billings, approximately 68 percent of housing was built before 1978.

Home remodeling projects, like sanding, create harmful dust. To protect children and families from swallowing or breathing lead dust or paint chips, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that contractors are trained by the EPA to follow lead-safe work practices if they work on projects that disturb paint in homes, child care facilities and preschools built before 1978. This requirement is known as the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule.

For more information on the rule, or to find a lead-safe contractor near you, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/lead

To report a contractor who is not in compliance with the RRP rule, please contact the Region 8 EPA Office at 303.312.6966.

Homeowners who want to protect their family during home renovation projects can download a free RiverStone Health brochure for tips on lead-safe renovation practices.

RiverStone Health does not provide lead testing in homes. Here is a list of companies in Yellowstone County that can test your home for lead.

For Healthcare Providers:

Lead poisoning cases in Montana must be reported. For recommendations and testing guidelines, please visit the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.