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, but lead poisoning is preventable. How much lead can cause lead poisoning? 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 & Risk
  2. Symptoms
  3. Reducing Risk
  4. Resources

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