Lead Poisoning & Prevention

Health Issues & Sources of Lead

Lead poisoning can cause many health issues in children including slowed growth and brain and nervous system damage.

Sources of lead that a child may come into contact with include:

  • Homes built before 1978 (when lead-based paints were banned) probably contain lead-based paint. When the paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust. Children can be poisoned when they swallow or breathe in lead dust.

  • Certain water pipes may contain lead.

  • Lead can be found in some products such as toys and jewelry.

  • Lead is sometimes in candies imported from other countries or traditional home remedies.

  • Certain jobs and hobbies involve working with lead-based products, like stain glass work, and may cause parents to bring lead into the home.

  • Children who live near airports may be exposed to lead in air and soil from aviation gas.


Removal of lead hazards from the environment before a child is exposed is the most effective way to ensure that children do not experience harmful long-term effects of lead exposure.

Take these steps to prevent your child from being exposed to lead in your home/environment:

  • Look out for peeling paint in houses built before 1978 as this may contain lead.

  • Wash your child’s hands and toys, as well as their bottles, pacifiers, and any other items your child often puts in his or her mouth.

  • Regularly clean floors, windowsills, and dusty places with wet mops or wet cloths to pick up any dust. Use two buckets – one for soap and one for rinsing. Never use a home vacuum cleaner to clean up suspected lead hazards.

  • Use only cold tap water for making baby formula, drinking, and cooking. Let the water run for a few minutes before you use it.

  • Avoid certain products from other countries, such as health remedies, eye cosmetics (e.g. kohl, kajal, surma), candies, spices, tea, snack foods, clay pots and dishes, painted toys, and children’s jewelry. These and other items may contain high levels of lead.

  • Remove shoes before entering your home and remove work clothes before entering the house for any household member who does construction or other work that may involve lead. Wash these clothes separately from other items.

Home Repairs & Renovations

In the case of home repairs and renovations, get professional help with screening your home for hazards and making repairs. If you hire someone to conduct renovation, repairs, or painting in a home built before 1978, make sure that they are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to perform lead work.

A lead risk assessment will tell you if you have hard-to-find hazards such as lead dust, lead in bare soil, or lead in your water to prioritize any repairs you can have done. A lead-based paint inspection will tell you where the lead-based paint is in your home so you know the places (such as windows, doors, trim, porches, and other locations) to maintain and avoid disturbing. An abatement contractor knows how to eliminate hazards identified by either type of evaluation.

If you rent your home, report it to your landlord so that repairs can get made (and call code enforcement or a legal aid society if there is no response). If you own your home, keep your child away from renovation or maintenance work that disturbs paint, and make sure no paint chips or dust remain in the work area before your child enters.

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4275 N State Route 376,

McConnelsville, Ohio 43756