What is lead?

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes.

Why is lead dangerous?

There are major health effects, especially for children six years old and under, associated with exposure to high amounts of lead.

Children can suffer from:

  • behavior and learning problems
  • brain damage
  • slowed growth
  • headaches

​Adults can suffer from:

  • high blood pressure
  • reproductive problems
  • memory problems
  • nerve disorders

Where can I find lead?

The primary cause of lead poisoning is chipping and peeling lead-based paint on homes built before 1978.

Lead can also be found elsewhere, including:

  • in the soil around buildings painted with lead-based paint
  • old plumbing fixtures and pipes
  • folk remedies and ayurvedic treatments
  • lead-glazed pottery
  • hobbies that use lead, like stained glass or lead crystal
  • some painted toys and furniture

How can I protect myself and my family from lead?

Here are some steps you can take to keep your family safe from exposure to lead and other contaminants in your home.

  1. If your home was built before 1978, maintain the painted surfaces to prevent chipping and peeling paint.
  2. Damp mop smooth surface floors weekly to control dust.
  3. Remove your shoes when you come in from outside.
  4. Test your home drinking water if your home has lead pipes.
  5. Children under the age of 6 should have a blood lead test.

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