Take steps to protect your family from lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead. In the United States, most lead poisoning is caused by paint in homes built before 1978.
Who is at risk for lead poisoning?
Children under age 6 and pregnant women are most at risk of lead poisoning.
- When children are young, their bodies are still growing and are more sensitive to the harmful effects of lead.
- If a pregnant woman has too much lead in her body, it can increase her risk for miscarriage (losing the baby). Lead can also pass from the pregnant mother to her baby.
Lead poisoning often has no signs or symptoms, but it can cause problems with kids' learning, behavior, and development. Some effects of lead poisoning may never go away.
How do kids get lead poisoning?
Paint in homes built before 1978 often has lead in it. When old paint cracks and chips, it creates lead dust. Children get lead poisoning from breathing in the dust or swallowing it from their hands and toys.
Lead can also be found in the soil around your home, drinking water, and products with old paint, like toys, furniture, and jewelry.
If your home was built before 1978, use this Home Danger Zone Finder to see which spots in your home could contain lead.
Keep your family safe from lead.
Take these steps to keep your family safe:
- Keep children and pregnant women away from lead paint that is chipping or peeling.
- Wash your child’s hands and toys often.
- If you live in an older home, have your home tested for lead paint.
- Ask a doctor to test your child for lead.
To learn more about preventing lead poisoning: