Lead poisoning


Lead is a poisonous metal that our bodies cannot use. Lead poisoning can cause learning, hearing, and behavioral problems, and can harm your child’s brain, kidneys, and other organs. Lead in the body stops good minerals such as iron and calcium from working right. Some of these effects may be permanent. Many children have no symptoms of lead poisoning-a blood test is the only way to be sure that your child has not been exposed.


Where is Lead found?

  • Before 1978, some paint used in houses and apartments, inside and out, contained lead. This paint is a hazard if it is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead based paint.
  • Dust forms when lead paint is dry scraped or sanded (especially during home remodeling). The dust formed is contaminated with lead and a young child can touch this and put their hands into their mouths leading to lead poisoning.
  • The soil around the exterior of lead based painted homes and other structures can flake or peel off and gets into the soil. Exposure can occur from ingesting the soil (small child playing in the soil or garden products planted in the soil).
  • Other sources of lead are not as common, but can be the cause of lead poisoning as well. They include water from old plumbing fixtures, lead based painted toys or household items, imported lead glazed pottery or leaded crystal, hobbies/people who work with lead in their jobs, some folk remedies or cosmetics from foreign countries.

Simple Steps you Can take to protect your family from Lead Hazards

  • Get your child tested for lead. (Head Start does this test as well as your doctor’s clinic)
  • Do not use imported pottery or old pottery to store or serve food.
  • Let tap water run cold for one minute before using-if you have old plumbing.
  • Use only cold water for making your baby’s formula, drinking or cooking.
  • Regularly clean floors, windowsills and other flat surfaces using wet methods to control dust.
  • Wipe or remove shoes before entering your house.
  • Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling or renovating.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Wash your children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys regularly to remove any dust.

For further information click on the link below:

State Health Department Lead Website