Keeping the lead out of kids

May 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM

CINCINNATI , May 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. hospital warns children -- especially those age 6 and under -- need to be protected from lead exposure.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center find renovating older homes may increase a child's lead exposure. Everyone -- especially children -- not working on a renovation should be kept out of the home -- ideally, children should stay with a friends or relatives until the work is done.

"There are risks to renovating older homes, but there also are lots of ways parents can reduce the risk of lead exposure to their children," Dr. Adam Spanier says in a statement. "Preventing exposure is the key."

Spanier advises parents unsure about lead hazards to call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD or to visit the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site -- www.epa.gov/lead -- which lists laboratories that test lead paint. If there are lead hazards, professional abatement is the best option, Spanier says.

Spanier says home remodelers can take precautions by:

-- Misting before sanding/scraping.

-- Attaching high efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, vacuums to all power tools.

-- Covering doorways, windows and floors with heavy plastic and shutting down any air conditioning/heating vents

-- Properly disposing of debris.

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