Lead poisoning is a preventable disease. There are many things you can do to protect yourself and your family from lead.
If you live in a house or apartment that was built before 1978, or frequently visit a house that was built before 1978 (for example, grandparents, in-home daycare), there are things you can do right away to keep your young children from getting lead poisoning.
Make sure children cannot get to peeling paint or chewable surfaces covered with lead-based paint, such as window sills.
If you see any peeling paint chips or dust, clean it up right away. If you rent, let your landlord know of peeling or chipping paint.
Wipe down floors and other household surfaces with a damp cloth or mop at least once a week to reduce possible exposure to lead dust. Thoroughly rinse cloths and mops when you are done.
Regularly wash children’s hands and toys to remove dust and dirt. Household dust and outdoor dirt can both contain lead.
If you work around lead, make sure to change your clothes before entering the house.
Use only cold water from the tap for cooking, drinking, and mixing baby formula.
Lead in tap water usually comes from lead pipes in the house, not from the water supply. Hot water is more likely to pick up lead from water pipes.
Avoid regularly using products from countries that do not have lead regulations as strict as those in the United States.
Some imported food products, such as spices and candies, have been associated with elevated levels of blood lead in children in Colorado. Some toys have been found to have levels of lead that can put a child at risk if the child chews on the toy. These toys are often imported from other countries.
Lead has been found in some traditional (folk) medicines used by East Indian, Indian, Middle Eastern, West Asian, and Hispanic cultures. Azarcon and Greta are traditional Hispanic remedies that are sometimes given to teething babies, and are also used to treat upset stomach. Ba-baw-san is a Chinese herbal remedy used to treat colic pain or to pacify young children. These remedies may contain lead.