Although lead-based paint was banned in 1978, homes that were built prior to that still contain lead. Chips, dust, and fumes from this paint can be very dangerous to human health if they are not handled properly.

Lead is particularly hazardous to unborn babies, infants, and children under the age of 6. Lead can damage the brain and other parts of the nervous system and can cause long-term behavior and learning problems. In adults, lead can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, nervous system problems, difficulty with memory and concentration, and muscle and joint pain.

Because of the hazard lead poses to young children, they are routinely screened for lead poisoning at medical check-ups. The results of these lead screenings are reported to BBHD. Whenever a child under the age of 6 has an elevated blood lead level (EBLL), the BBHD is required by law to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the lead poisoning and ensure that any lead in areas where the child resides is properly abated by the property owner.

BBHD also partners with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and local hardware stores to provide information and guidance to the public on how to safely renovate their home and/or remove lead based paint as part of the “Don’t Spread Lead campaign.