Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead is a toxic metal that produces many adverse health effects. Lead poisoning is a disease caused by exposure to and the absorption of lead. It is persistent and cumulative. It does not degrade. Lead poisoning is preventable. You may be wondering how much lead can cause you to be lead poisoned. Here is an example as how small of an amount it takes to poison you:

Take a penny and break it up in to 2 million pieces; now take 2 pieces out of the 2 million. Just those 2 pieces is enough to poison you.

  1. Exposure Sources & Risk Reduction
  2. Symptoms
  3. Reducing Lead in Your Environment

Lead Exposure

There are two pathways to lead exposure:

  • Ingestion
  • Inhalation

Lead can be found in many products that most parents are unaware of such as:

  • Cosmetics
  • Food or liquid containers
  • Jewelry
  • Painted furniture
  • Plumbing products
  • Toys, etc.

Sometimes, children are lead poisoned because a parent unknowingly brings lead dust home from their job. Some high risk lead exposure occupations are:

  • Auto body repair
  • Battery manufacturing
  • Ceramics
  • Compounding plastic resins, such as those used to make jewelry
  • Construction/remodeling
  • Gun firing ranges
  • Inks, dyes, glazes, paints or pigments
  • Lead fishing weights and lures
  • Lead soldering, electronics, plumbing, etc.
  • Leaded glass or crystal
  • Manufacturing of ammunition and explosives
  • Plating operations
  • Radiator repair
  • Stained glass windows/lamps

Reducing Exposure

To help reduce exposing yourself or your children if you work in any of the previously listed occupations:

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke in lead-contaminated work areas
  • Wash your hands before eating, smoking or touching your face after working with lead
  • Wear your protective equipment over your clothing whenever you work with lead
  • Shower, wash your hair and change into clean clothes (including shoes) before leaving the workplace; "take home lead" can contaminate your vehicle, home and can harm your family
  • Store street clothes in a separate area from your work clothes
  • Eating a well-balanced diet with proper nutrition