Q: All the news about lead in the water is scary. Should everyone get tested?
Oz Says: Adults probably don't need to, says Elaine Schulte, MD, a lead-toxicity expert and pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic. Lead poisoning is rare in fully grown folks, so experts recommend testing only if you have signs like unexplained memory loss, headaches, or abdominal pain. But kids are very vulnerable to this element, which affects brain and nervous system development.
Kids need a blood test between 9 and 12 months and again at age 2. Through age 6, docs should ask about symptoms like attention, learning, and behavior problems as well as exposure. Water has been in the news, but watch for lead at home: The largest risk is still flaking lead paint in houses built before 1978.
This story originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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