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Just as parent’s begin to think about toy shopping for Christmas, the Orange County Health Department has begun a new program to test children’s toys for lead. It is a program to reduce your children’s exposure to lead and was announced during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 19 – 25. According to the Health Department’s website

This new lead testing service is available on a walk-in basis. People can bring household items (with a flat surface and larger than the size of a matchbox) to the Orange County Health Department’s Office of Environmental Services at 800 Mercy Drive in Orlando on Thursdays from 9:00-10:00 am where the items can be tested while they wait. The fee for this testing is $10.00 dollars for up to ten items. If families prefer, an Environmental Specialist can also perform an inspection in their home, by appointment, for a $59.00 fee.

While a child’s greatest exposure to lead poisoning is environmnental in the form of lead based paints, there were a multitude of lead-based paint toy and jewelry recalls last year. It would be almost impossible for anyone to keep with them all. This new program is an excellent opportunity to have your children’s toys tested to make sure they are safe for them to play without the risk of exposure to lead. Lead is a highly toxic metal and it can lead to developmental problems in children such as –

    • Decreased intelligence or ability to learn

    • Behavior problems

    • Health problems such as anemia, hearing damage, and speech and language delays

    • Seizures, comas, and even death

For more information on the testing program, call the Department of Environmental Services at 407-521-2630.

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