How to minimize your child's exposure to outdoor lead - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

How to minimize your child's exposure to outdoor lead

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

A Wayne State Assistant Professor says children living in Detroit are at greater risk of lead exposure during the summer months.

In a recent study, Dr. Shawn McElmurry revealed children's blood lead levels (BLL spike during summer months because they are exposed more to contaminated soil through direct contact (playing outside) and airborne lead contaminated soil.

Dr. McElmurry offers up the following tips to minimize your children's exposure to outdoor lead:

1. Do your best to keep a healthy lawn.
Keeping up a healthy lawn is sometimes easier said than done especially during the dog days of summer. Your yard doesn't have to look like a plush golf course, but just keeping it alive will help cut down on any lead contaminated soil getting kicked up into the air in the immediate vicinity of where your kids are playing. If you have dead portions of your lawn, where soil is revealed, it doesn't cost more than $20 to lay down grass seed. If you have a spot in your yard, where grass just won't take, you can also plant some small shrubs and lay down mulch. It will serve the same purpose a healthy lawn in this case.

2. Plant some ground cover a vacant dirt lot your neighborhood.
You can do a great job of keeping your lawn nice and healthy, but if there is a vacant dirt lot in the neighborhood that can be a source of airborne lead contaminated soil. If you are part of a community group in your neighborhood, you can all pitch in and for less than couple hundred bucks get ground cover plants that don't require a ton of water or maintenance. Go to your local home improvement store and they will be able to show you which plants they have available for that purpose.

3. Try to Change "playing clothes" immediately when coming inside.
Lead contaminated airborne dust isn't the only reason we believe blood lead levels spike in the summer months. Have direct contact with it can get lead into the blood stream as well. When young kids are playing outside all day they are going to get dirty. Do your best to have them change out of those clothes immediately after coming inside and get them into a laundry basket, so the dirt and dust isn't lingering inside there room until laundry day.

4. Don't play in the front yard, if it's close to the street.
So much dust and dirt seems to finds its way into street gutters. Passing cars are continually kicking that up into the air. If you have a backyard, try to have the kids play back there-away from the street dust.

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