Who is At Greatest Risk of Lead Poisoning?

Children under six years old and unborn babies are at greatest risk of the harmful health effects of lead poisoning. The brains and nervous systems of these young children are still forming and are therefore most susceptible to the toxic effects of lead.

Young children most susceptible to lead poisoning often crawl on floors and furniture where lead dust accumulates. Loose items like the children’s’ toys can contain lead and collect lead contaminated dust. The common practice of young children putting their hands and other items into their mouths which may contain lead or lead dust represents a serious lead exposure problem. Even tiny amounts of lead can be hazardous and the child’s smaller, growing body absorbs a higher proportion of ingested lead than do adults. Children who live and play in buildings built before 1978 and who play in bare soil are especially at risk.