How Can Lead Poisoning Be Prevented?

Yes, by ensuring children are protected by the lead commonly found in the home and yard. The following measures are all helpful suggestions:

  • Remove all lead paint with safe methods.
  • Regularly dust and vacuum all areas in the house where children frequent.
  • Do not let young children play with antique toys, costume jewelry or in rooms where there is antique furniture.
  • Avoid exposing children to imported products.
  • Frequently wash children’s hands particularly before eating.
  • Wash toys, countertops and windowsills and wet mop floors weekly with an all-purpose detergent.
  • Don’t use imported foods that come in cans with wide seams.
  • Avoid giving children imported candy or snacks containing chili or tamarind.
  • Clean up paint chips and peeling paint safely. Your local Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program can give you information on safe cleaning.
  • Allow cold water to run for a few minutes in the morning before using it for drinking, cooking, or mixing formula in case there may be lead in your household pipes. Do not use hot water from the tap for drinking or in food preparation. You can get your water tested. Check with your local lead program
  • Avoid using handmade, older, or imported dishes for food or drink preparation, storage, or serving, unless you are sure they do not contain lead.
  • Avoid using imported home remedies or cosmetics that contain lead. If you are not sure, check with your local lead program.
  • Take off your shoes before entering the house. (Wipe shoes off – this will help prevent lead dust and soil from getting into your house.)
  • Don’t let your child play in areas where bare soil is exposed.
  • Vacuum carpets frequently to reduce household dust, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Change out of work clothes before entering the house or being in contact with family members. If you work with lead at your job or hobby, take a shower at your workplace, if possible. Otherwise, shower and remove clothing immediately upon returning home. Handle clothing carefully and wash separately.
  • When moving into a home, ask the owner about any problems with lead and know the age of the building.
  • Before remodeling, ask a trained professional to test the paint in your house. If lead is in the paint, learn how to handle it safely.