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Region 1: New England

Health Concerns

Report Lead Paint Violations

Lead is poisonous because it interferes with some of the body's basic functions. Lead can affect anyone, but children ages six and younger face special hazards since their bodies develop rapidly and lead can block their still developing nervous systems. It is important to know that even exposure to low levels of lead can permanently affect children. In low levels, lead can cause:

Photo with caption: "have your child tested for elevated blood levels". Photo by Katie Mazer
  • Nervous system and kidney damage
  • Learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and decreased intelligence
  • Speech, language, and behavior problems
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Decreased muscle and bone growth
  • Hearing damage

While low-level exposure is most common, exposure to high levels of lead can have devastating effects on children, including seizures, unconsciousness, and in some cases, death.

Lead can be dangerous for adults too. In adults, high lead levels can cause

Graphic of a sick woman.
  • Increase chance of illness during pregnancy
  • Harm to fetus, including brain damage or death
  • Fertility problems in both men and women
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Nerve disorders
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle and joint pain

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