What are Some Tips for Lead Poisoning Prevention?


Lead poisoning is preventable. The goal is to prevent lead exposure to children before they are harmed. There are many ways parents can reduce a child's exposure to lead. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead. Lead hazards in a child's environment must be identified, controlled, or removed safely.

  1. Women planning on having children, pregnant women, and children should not be present in housing built before 1978 undergoing renovation. They should not participate in activities that disturb old paint or clean up paint debris after work is completed.
  2. EPA has a Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule that establishes requirements for firms and individuals performing renovations, and affects contractors, property managers, and others who disturb painted surfaces. A contractor renovating/remodeling a house built before 1978 needs to be trained and licensed to work with lead. Contractors must also provide homeowners with a copy of EPA's Renovate Right before work begins. 
  3. Create barriers between living/play areas and lead sources. Ensure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint. Until lead remediation is completed, parents should clean and isolate all lead sources. They should close and lock doors to keep children away from chipping or peeling paint on walls or apply temporary barriers such as furniture or plastic to block children's access to sources of lead.
  4. Regularly wash children's hands and toys. Hands and toys can become contaminated from household dust or exterior soil. Both dust and soil can be sources of lead.
  5. Regularly wet-mop floors and wet-wipe window components. Because household dust is a major source of lead in older houses, parents should wet-mop floors and wet-wipe horizontal surfaces every two to three weeks. Windowsills and troughs may contain high levels of lead dust and should be kept clean. If feasible, windows should be closed to prevent abrasion of painted surfaces or opened from the top sash.
  6. Prevent children from playing in bare soil. Parents should plant grass on bare soil or cover the soil with grass seed, mulch, or gravel. Parents should move play areas away from bare soil until the bare soil is covered. 
  7. Pets can also bring lead into the home. Dogs and cats with access to the outdoors could play in lead-contaminated soil and track that soil into the house and children.
  8. Occupations with possible lead exposures may have set procedures per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to prevent exposure of taking lead home. If not, you can take steps to Protect Yourself at Work. Lead safety practices include showering before leaving work, changing clothes/shoes, and leaving work attire/equipment at work. All clothing with possible lead exposure is recommended to be washed separately and cleaned with an additional rinse cycle to clean out any lead dust that may be left behind. It is also advisable to vacuum your car using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  9. If drinking water is of concern for lead contamination because of pipes or faucets in your home, flush the lines by running water for 15 to 30 seconds before using cold water only for drinking or cooking. Call your local health department or download the Important Information About Lead in Your Drinking Water brochure to identify possible sources of lead in water.
  10. Importance of a Healthy Diet-Children with empty stomachs absorb more lead than children with full stomachs. Provide your child with four to six small nutritious meals during the day. The following nutrients can help protect your child from absorbing lead:
  11. Iron-Rich Foods protect the body from the harmful effects of lead. Good sources of dietary iron include: lean red meats, fish, and chicken; iron-fortified cereals, and dried fruits (raisins, prunes)
  12. Calcium-Rich Foods reduce lead absorption and help make teeth and bones strong. Good sources of dietary calcium include: milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)
  13. Vitamin C-Rich Foods work together to reduce lead absorption. Good sources of vitamin C include: oranges, orange juice, grapefruits, grapefruit juice, tomatoes, tomato juice, and green peppers

For healthy eating tips, please click the link from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fight Lead Poisoning with a Healthy Diet: Lead Poisoning Prevention Tips for Families https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/documents/fight_lead_poisoning_with_a_healthy_diet_2019.pdf

Show All Answers

1. What is Lead?
2. What is Lead Poisoning?
3. What are Sources of Lead Poisoning?
4. What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning?
5. Who is at Risk?
6. What are the Health Effects of Lead?
7. How Do I Get my Child Tested for Lead Poisoning?
8. How Much Does It Cost to Get my Child Tested for Lead Poisoning?
9. How Do I Get my Home or Building Tested?
10. What are Some Tips for Lead Poisoning Prevention?