Is There Lead in or Around Your Home?

Lead can be found in many places inside and outside your home.

Lead can hurt your child. Lead can harm a child's brain. Lead poisoning can make it hard for children to learn, pay attention and behave. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick.

Ask your child's doctor about testing for lead. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is for your child to get a blood test for lead.

Most children get tested at 1 and 2 years old. Some children over 2 also need to get tested. These articles from the California Department of Health Services contain important information about the possibility of lead being present in items that some people use everyday.

Protect Your Family

Taking Care of Your Child

  • Keep your child away from old or chipping paint.
  • Wash your child's hands and toys often.
  • Feed your child healthy meals and snacks every day and avoid giving your child sweets.

Inside and Outside Your Home

  • Keep your home clean and dust-free.
  • Never sand, dry scrape, power wash or sandblast paint unless it has been tested and does not have lead in it.
  • Cover bare dirt outside where your child plays.
  • Take off shoes and wipe them on a doormat before going inside.
  • Change out of work clothes and shoes, and wash up and shower before getting in a car or going home if your work with lead.

Things You Buy and Use

  • Avoid using dishes and pots that are old, worn or antique, from a discount market or flea market, made of crystal, handmade, or made outside the US, unless they have been test and do not have lead.
  • Do not use remedies like azarcon, greta, or pay-loo-ah. Some Ayurvedic remedies, traditional Chinese remedies, and other remedies may also contain lead. Talk to your doctor before using any remedies.
  • Some traditional makeup, like kohl or surma, has been found to contain lead.
  • Avoid foods and brightly colored spices, like chapulines and turmeric, brought to the US by family and fiends.
  • Do not let your child play with or mouth jewelry, fishing sinkers, or bullets or bullet casings.

Click here to see some items that may contain lead.