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Salt Lake County to test for lead

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and the Lead Safe Housing Program are holding a Lead Safe Testing Day Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the County Government Center, 2001 S. State, South Building Atrium.

The public is invited to bring toys, jewelry, pottery, clothing and furniture to be tested for lead-based contaminants. Information on the harmful effects of lead, where lead is found and how to protect your family from lead poisoning will be available.

Representatives from the Lead Safe Housing Program will be available to take applications for those qualifying households that need lead abatement. Once qualified, homeowners may receive free services, which includes lead testing of the home, blood testing for children under the age of 6, window replacement and/or repainting.

Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease of young children but almost 1 million children in the United States have lead levels in their blood high enough to cause irreversible damage to their health. Most problems come when lead-based paint is disturbed in homes (or other buildings) built before 1978. Dust from disturbed paint settles on toys, windowsills, and floors and can be swallowed by young children. Lead poisoned children often suffer from learning disabilities, brain and central nervous system damage and other physical effects.