Experts warn of lead exposure, poisoning as warmer weather begins

Multnomah County health officials say every spring and summer, reports of lead poisoning rise as exposure increases.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — As weather improves in spring and summer, local health officials warn of increased risk of lead exposure.

“There is a seasonality to lead poisoning, and it tends to spike in the summer,” explained Perry Cabot, Multnomah County Health’s lead specialist.

Cabot said as people begin home improvement projects in the warmer months, they may inadvertently disturb contaminated paint inside or outside their homes.

Lead paint was banned in 1978, so homes built prior—especially before 1950— have higher risk of lead contamination.

In a news release, Multnomah County said dust from disturbed lead paint is the number-one way children are exposed, causing permanent cognitive impairments and other health effects.

Since exposure does not present obvious symptoms, only a blood test can confirm exposure or poisoning.

“It’s devastating,” Cabot said. “Imagine

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