The Chenango County Health Department is launching a lead poisoning awareness initiative. Department representatives will visit eleven communities in the county as part of a program called “Lead Walk 2022” with the theme “No Lead Level is Safe.”

“Our staff walks through neighborhoods and place door hangers with information about the dangers of lead poisoning,” said Heather Miller, Supervising Community Health Nurse.

During the next few months health officials will visit the City of Norwich, and the towns of Afton, Bainbridge, Earlville, Greene, Guilford, New Berlin, Plymouth, Sherburne and South New Berlin.

Children are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning because they are more likely to put objects in their mouth such as paint chips containing lead. “Every child in New York should be tested for lead at age one and two,” Miller said. “Lead poisoning is a possibility especially if you live in a home built before 1972.”

Lead paint and other products containing lead were banned after that year.

The biggest danger regarding lead is children may eat or inhale products containing the toxin. Lead then can get into the child’s bloodstream. “The lead can cause developmental delays in children,” Miller said. “Prevention includes proper cleaning and removing or covering chipping paint.”

The most common cause of lead poisoning in adults is exposure at work, especially jobs involving demolition and construction.  For more information about the dangers of lead contamination call 607-337-1660.

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