Lead Poisoning

Lead in your home is a health risk for young children and pregnant mothers. Learn about the dangers of lead and how to remove it safely.

Lead:  a naturally occurring metal that can cause negative health effects. People are exposed to lead by eating lead paint chips, ingesting contaminated food or water, and/or by breathing in lead dust. Children younger than 6 years are more likely to be exposed due to their hand-to-mouth behavior. Many children ingest lead dust by putting objects such as toys and dirt in their mouths. 

Some children are at a greater risk for lead exposure from paint, water, soil, some imported items such as traditional medicines and herbs, industrial sources, and from certain jobs and hobbies (through their parents and caregivers). More information can be found here Populations at Higher Risk 

Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and cause well-documented adverse effects such as:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems
  • Hearing and speech problems

This can cause:

  • Lower IQ
  • Decreased ability to pay attention
  • Under performance in school

There is also evidence that childhood exposure to lead can cause long-term harm.

5 Things you can do to help lower your child's lead level.

Lead exposure prevention.

  • Primary prevention is the removal of lead hazards from the environment before a child is lead exposed. It is the most effective way to ensure that children do not experience harmful long-term effects of lead exposure.
  • Secondary prevention includes blood lead testing and follow-up care and referral. It remains an essential safety net for children who may already be exposed to lead.

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