Board of Realtors meeting raises awareness for lead poisoning pr - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Board of Realtors meeting raises awareness for lead poisoning prevention

(Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)

The EPA urges parents and teachers to spread message of lead poisoning prevention.

That's exactly what realtors learned about in a Cape Girardeau County Board of Realtors meeting on Tuesday in Cape Girardeau.

The meeting was held to keep realtors up to date with the latest EPA findings and rulings with lead paint in homes.

One of the topics focused on at the meeting was how little the amount of lead it would take to poison a child. One realtor said the findings portrayed in the meeting were shocking.

"It was pretty shocking," Cape Girardeau County Board of Realtors Association Executive Dawn Seabaugh said. "When he showed us by example the small amounts of particles that could cause problems in a child or pregnant woman, I think most of us were pretty shocked by that."

Lead poisoning is a health issue that can affect anyone. Young children especially are most at risk.

The Centers and Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least four million households in the U.S. have children living in them at risk for exposure for toxic lead.

Also, more than half a million U.S. children ages five and younger have blood lead levels above five micrograms per deciliter. Five deciliter is the reference level at which the CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.

The most common way that children can become exposed to lead is by breathing or swallowing dust or chips of lead-based paint, which is often found in homes or child-care facilities built prior to 1978.

Seabaugh said not to worry so much about purchasing or living in a home before 1978.

Lead based paint isn't harmful if it's not exposed. Usually older homes have problems around windows and doors that cause friction that would then chip or scratch the paint surfaces that would expose the lead. However, if the paint is properly maintained, there should be no worries.

"Let's not be completely scared off," Seabaugh said. "My home was built in 1946. I don't have any concerns at all. What he was here to do was educate us on how to prevent it and how we can deal with those properties. Just make sure that everybody knows what they're in for."

The Cape Girardeau County Board of Realtors had 280 members that serve counties of Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger and a portion of Scott County.

Seabaugh said realtors already know the importance of the lead paint base disclosure.

If a property is built before 1978, realtors have requirements regarding their clients they must abide by.

Seabaugh said the meeting on Tuesday was an eye opener about how important that disclosure is and how the effects of lead can affect a children and adults.

With the new information learned on Tuesday, Sebaugh said it's vital that they let buyers and parents understand the dangers and requirements surrounding lead based paint.

According to the EPA, findings show that lead poisoning can result in serious health affects. This includes learning disabilities, hearing loss, speech delays, stunted growth, headaches, stomach aches and seizures. In extreme cases, it could result in death.

Renovation is the main cause of poisonous lead micro-dust. Just three granules of lead dust is enough to poison a child. This lead-contaminated micro dust can be inhaled and absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you would like to know more information about lead poisoning, more information is on the EPA's website.

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