It may seem like a problem of the past, but lead poisoning is still a serious health hazard today.
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead poisoning for any age is caused commonly by swallowing or breathing in lead or lead dust.
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Lead Poisoning Prevention
Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. By taking some simple precautions, you can protect yourself and your family before harm is done.
- Clean dusty surfaces. Clean your floors with a wet mop and wipe furniture, windowsills and other dusty surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Eat a healthy diet. Regular meals and good nutrition might help lower lead absorption. Children especially need enough calcium, vitamin C and iron in their diets to help keep lead from being
- Keep your home well-maintained. If your home has lead-based paint, check regularly for peeling paint and fix problems promptly. Do not sand peeling paint, which could create lead-contaminated dust particles, and use a lead-certified contractor for remodeling or remediation.
- Prevent children from playing on bare soil. Provide them with a sandbox that's covered when not in use. Plant grass or cover bare soil with mulch.
- Remove shoes before entering the house. This will help keep lead-contaminated soil outside.
- Wash hands and toys. To help reduce hand-to-mouth transfer of contaminated dust or soil, wash your children's hands after outdoor play, before eating and at bedtime. Wash their toys regularly.
- Run cold water. If you have older plumbing containing lead pipes or fittings, run your cold water for at least a minute before using. Don't use hot tap water to make baby formula or for cooking.
- Talk with your child’s doctor about a simple blood lead test. Lead poisoning can be hard to detect. Even people who seem healthy can have an elevated blood lead level. A simple blood test can diagnose lead poisoning. Children should get tested at 1 and 2 years old.
Your child’s doctor might recommend additional testing for those who live in older homes, have a higher lead exposure risk, or for children less than 6 years of age who haven’t been previously tested Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.