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Soil around some Omaha homes may pose lead-exposure risks

Risk especially high for young children and pregnant women
shovel rake dirt
Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 13:36:54-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you live in or work on older homes, it’s important to know whether there’s lead in the soil surrounding it. To help keep you and your family safe, the City of Omaha Lead Information Office and Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance launched a campaign to help raise awareness about the issue and provide resources.

The Dig Into Lead Safety program is urging people to check before they dig by going to www.OmahaLead.org. There, people can see if they should have their soil tested. You can also call 402-731-3045 to ask about a test.

If a test comes back positive, the city will work with property owners to address the issue.

Homes that were built before 1978 may have used lead-based paints said Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lead can lead to a number of health problems and young children are especially at risk:

In Children, exposure to lead can cause:
  • Behavior and learning problems
  • Lower IQ and Hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing Problems
  • Anemia

In pregnant mothers it can cause:
  • Cause the baby to be born too early or too small;
  • Hurt the baby’s brain, kidney’s, and nervous system;
  • Increase the likelihood of learning or behavioral problems; and
  • Put the mother at risk for miscarriage.

Risks posed to other adults
  • Cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension
  • Decreased kidney function; and
  • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)

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