Parents have a right to be concerned about their children's exposure to lead. A potent neurotoxin, lead negatively and irreversibly affects the brain, kidneys and nervous system.
Highly toxic, lead-based paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978. Since then, the percentage of children with high levels of lead in their blood has plummeted from 88% to 1.6% in 2005. But despite these efforts, The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that one in four children live in housing with deteriorated lead paint.
The most likely cause of a child's lead poisoning is from a window painted with lead-based paint. Repeated opening and closing causes the paint to flake and release dangerous particles into the air. Old windows should be replaced entirely or the paint should be shaved off and repainted and the inside frame replaced with vinyl or aluminum. For other tips on how you can reduce your child's exposure to lead, read our article about maintaining indoor air quality.
USA Today has an in-depth article about the fight against lead in the home. It's a fascinating read for those interested in this hidden danger and the battle to eradicate it.