Lead Poisoning Prevention
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Prevent Lead Poisoning
Take the following steps to decrease the risk of lead poisoning for yourself and your children:
- Have your home's paint and water tested if:
- You live in a home built before 1960
- You think you are being exposed to lead
- Have any lead you find removed safely. Your state's Department of Public Health will help with this process.
- Keep young children away from peeled or chipped paint.
- Wash children's toys regularly.
- Make sure children wash their hands before eating.
Keep It Clean
Instead of vacuuming hard surfaces, use wet wipes or lead-absorbing detergents to avoid spreading lead-filled dust. Vacuuming with cleaners that employ HEPA air filtration may be both safe and effective for floors and other hard surfaces. Effective lead hazard remediation usually requires window replacement and careful surface repainting. Lead-containing dust tends to accumulate in carpets, and until further evidence about effective carpet cleaning becomes available, replacement of carpets is the only known way to reduce risks from floor coverings. When outside dirt is contaminated, it may need to be dug up and replaced with clean soil.
Play in Safe Areas
Take the following precautions:
- Encourage children to play in grassy areas instead of dirt.
- Keep children away from foundations of older homes where peeling paint may have contaminated the surrounding soil.
- If there is a chance of lead exposure outside the home, have everyone take off their shoes before coming inside.
- Certain adult hobbies can expose children to lead poisoning. These include:
- Stained glass making (where lead is involved)
- Soldering electrical devices with lead-containing solder
- Fishing with lead-containing “sinkers”
Parents who work with lead or whose hobbies involve lead should take special precautions to protect themselves and their children from lead contact.