WHAT IS LEAD? Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.
Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.
Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and becomes tracked in. Children may become lead poisoned by:
- Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths,
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint, or
- Playing in lead-contaminated soil
WHAT CAN I DO? If your home was built before 1978:
- Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, with a damp paper towel and discard,
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust,
- Take off shoes when entering the house,
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery to remove dust,
- If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a "higher efficiency" collection bag,
- Pick up loose paint chips carefully with a paper towel and discard in the trash,
- Take precautions to avoid creating lead dust when remodeling, renovating your home,
- Test for lead hazards by a lead professional. (Have the soil tested too).
WHAT's NEXT? Test your home for Lead Based Paint! Remember, if your home was built before 1978 there are no exceptions! Every home should be tested especially when you consider the fact that Government officials and health professionals continue to develop advice about removing lead-based paint. Our commitment is strong and our message is very simple.