Lead paint found at the entrance of a preschool has led to the closure of the entrance and letters being sent to parents.
The Nassau County Department of Health found that paint chips at the Shubert School, located in Baldwin and used by the Uniondale School District, contained lead. Because of the lead, the school closed the entrance. No lead has been found in the inside of the school.
"As a precaution, we urge parents to alert their child's pediatrician of the findings and to request a blood test that looks for elevated lead levels," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. "Children are at a higher risk because of the rapid growth and development of their nervous system and their tendency to put things into their mouths. Uniondale School District moved quickly to respond to DOH's concerns. They have supported the investigation."
Out of an abundance of caution, the Nassau County Department of Health will send letters to parents of the children who attend the school and encourage them to talk to their pediatricians.
"The primary route of lead poisoning is by ingesting lead or lead dust," said Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. "Our department annually reviews nearly 40,000 pediatric blood tests for elevated blood lead level and we immediately investigate any cases of lead exposure to ensure that the source is removed as quickly as possible. There is no safe blood-lead level in children."
Initial lead exposure to lead can oftentimes go unrecognized because there may be no obvious symptoms. Parents should look for symptoms such as vomiting and loss of appetite. While many cases of lead poisoning involve leaded paint found in building and homes built prior to 1978, sources of lead poisoning have also included:
certain foreign cosmetics, ceremonial products, and make-up products;
toys and jewelry;
imported foods, spices, and candies;
home goods including cookware, picture frames, and pottery.
"The health and safety of our residents is always our top priority," said Curran. "We want to remind our residents that lead poisoning is preventable by avoiding and removing these known sources of exposure."