What to do if you believe your child has been exposed to lead
If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead, reach out to your child's health care provider to have your child tested. Some symptoms of lead exposure in children include learning difficulties, irritability, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, developmental delays, and seizures. This list of symptoms is not all inclusive and symptoms may present differently in each child. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.
Exposure Prevention Tips and Resources
Exposure to lead in the home is preventable. The primary source of lead exposure in the home is lead-based paint. Homes built in 1978 or earlier may contain lead-based paint on the interior and exterior painted surfaces. Paint that is still intact and smooth does not present a risk of exposure. However, lead-based paint that is peeling or chipping can present a hazard to the individuals residing in your home. Other sources of lead in the home may include imported toys, antique toys and furniture, and toy jewelry.
Children are particularly at risk for lead exposure due to the tendency for small children to crawl on the floor and put their hands and other objects in their mouths. Children also absorb lead into their bodies more readily than adults. As a result, it is important to be aware of potential sources of lead in the home and how to prevent exposure.
The Environmental Protection Agency has useful resources for protecting your family from lead in your home:
Lead in Your Home (epa.gov)
Blood Lead Levels in Children (cdc.gov)
All Children Can Be Exposed to Lead (cdc.gov)
Do-it-yourself Renovation Resources
Renovation of homes built before 1978 may expose your family to dust from lead- based paint. Always use an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator, when possible, to prevent the spread of lead contaminated dust and paint chips throughout your home.
A list of EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firms can be found at the following website:
If you decide to complete repairs on your own, see the following link to the EPA Guide for Safe Renovation:
Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting