Nebraska DHHS warns of lead and how it will affect children

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services wants Nebraskans to know the risk of lead poisoning.

Old houses can often contain lead paint

Lead is most commonly found in the home, especially houses built after 1978. Lead paint was banned that year, but for many Nebraskan houses, it was too late.

DHHS estimates that around 60 percent of homes in Nebraska were built before 1978. That means it's highly likely that there is lead in the home. DHHS said lead can be detrimental to both children and adults.

"We really want to control lead exposures now, to control and prevent lead exposures now so they don't impact a child's future," said a state epidemiologist, Derry Stover. "There is no safe level of lead in the blood."

Stover said even low levels of lead in children have been found to stunt IQ and create growth and development issues as well as cause learning, attention and behavior issues. In adults, these symptoms manifest themselves more as headaches and neurological pain.

In 2017, 35,000 children across the state were tested for lead. 493 showed signs of elevated blood-lead levels.

But, DHHS added, lead poisoning and exposure is 100 percent preventable. Click this link to learn more about lead and the effects it can have on you and your family.