Chenango Heath Dept. to spread the word on lead

May 8—Chenango County residents can expect some health information to show up at their door.

According to a news release from the Chenango County Department of Health, staff members from the department will visit area towns to educate the community on the importance of lead and lead poisoning. The program, called Lead Walk, has been going on since 2012. Each year, according to t he rerlease, staff members visit different towns and villages in Chenango County. This year, they will visit Afton, Bainbridge, Greene, Guilford, McDonough, New Berlin, Norwich, North Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Sherburne and Smithville. This year's theme is: "LEAD: BEYOND THE PAINT."

Residents of those towns will find yellow doorknob hangers on their front doors with educational information about lead poisoning. Additional information on the second side of the doorknob hangers about ticks and anaplasmosis will also be distributed. Staff will leave the information at each residence in selected towns or villages starting May 13 and continuing through the month of June. Staff members will use pedometers and cellphones to count their steps and try to pass the 200-mile mark goal as a team, according to the release.

Lead is a poisonous metal that can be found in some Chenango County residents' homes or yards, the release said. Lead poisoning is commonly seen in young children who have a hand-to-mouth behavior, but it can affect anyone. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also a concern as it places unborn or newborn children at risk when they are exposed to high lead levels. Lead travels throughout the body in the bloodstream. When a woman is pregnant, her baby can be exposed through her blood. Babies exposed to lead can be born early or small. Children exposed to lead may have poor brain development or cause learning disabilities, the release said.

In 1978, the United States banned the use of lead in the production of paint. Some older homes still have lead paint. As the homes age and the paint deteriorates, it causes dust to be released into the air. The dust can land on surfaces throughout the home and be either inhaled or ingested in the mouth, causing lead poisoning. For more information on lead poisoning, visit or