For Immediate Release
October 18, 2019
Contact: Sara Yasner, Bangor Public Health & Community Services
Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: October 20-26
BANGOR, MAINE - Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 20-26, 2019, and Bangor Public Health is teaming up with the Bangor Public Library Children's Department to provide information all week. In addition, Bangor Public Health staff will be on hand to answer questions on Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 24 between 10:00am and 12:00pm both days. Families are invited to visit the library between those hours, or explore the information table any time that week, to learn more about lead safety.
Children who live in older homes are more at risk for lead poisoning. In Maine, 30% of homes were built before 1950 and in Bangor, that number is even higher: almost 43%, or 6,000 households in Bangor alone, were built before 1950, where the risk of lead paint exposure is highest. Many children grow up safe in older homes, where painted services are kept up regularly. However, peeling and chipping paint, along with dust from renovations, can create lead hazards for young children.
To reduce the chance of lead poisoning, all children should now be tested at their doctor's office at both one and two years of age. In addition, families and property owners can request a free Lead Test Kit through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/eohp/lead/lead-kit-request.html.
It is possible to live safely in homes with lead paint as long as homeowners, tenants, and landlords take the necessary precautions. For example:
- Homeowners, tenants, and landlords should make sure that there is no peeling or chipping paint inside or outside the home.
- Keep your home safe by wiping down surfaces with a damp washcloth regularly and mopping the floor instead of sweeping. Using wet cleaning materials will help you pick up the dust instead of just pushing it around.
- In older homes, renovation projects must be completed by someone who has taken the Lead Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) course and is EPA lead-safe certified. Homeowners, landlords, and property owners are required by law to provide an RRP-certified person for renovations or to be certified themselves. For more information on how to sign up for this course, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/training/trainingcal.html.
For more information, contact Bangor Public Health & Community Services at (207) 992-4462 or visit the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Lead Poisoning Prevention website.
The City of Bangor, Maine is a service center community of 33,039 residents and is the county seat of Penobscot County. Bangor is the major commercial and cultural center for much of northern and eastern Maine. The City is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. For more information on City projects and news, see www.bangormaine.gov.