TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department announced the annual National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) that is taking place Oct. 24 through 30, as a call to action to increase lead poisoning prevention.

Lead poisoning typically affects children under six who are affected from breathing in or swallowing dust from old lead paint that gets on walls, floors, windowsills hands or toys. Despite the continued presence of lead, poisoning is preventable.

Community Health Nurse at the TCHD said that “when there is healthy food in the body, it is more difficult for lead to be absorbed,” adding that ensuring a diet high in calcium, iron and vitamin C is important.

In Tompkins County, about 60% of homes were built prior to 1978 when the FDA banned lead-based paint, meaning that there is a significant portion of homes where lead paint may be present under layers of newer paint.

Because of this, home renovation projects in older homes can increase the risk of dust containing lead. More information on proper precautions for home renovation projects in older homes can be found here.

Old toys and furniture, like painted cribs or highchairs, can be other sources of exposure, as can imported painted costume jewelry.

More information on lead poisoning prevention can be found on the TCHD’s website here.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...