Especially for Parents
What can I do to protect my family from lead poisoning?
- If you rent an apartment or house that was built before 1978, notify your landlord
of peeling or chipping paint.
- Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly with water
and an all-purpose cleaner.
- Wash your child’s hands often especially before eating, after playing outside, and
- Wash bottles, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals regularly.
- Keep children from chewing window sills and other painted surfaces or eating soil
or paint chips.
- Make sure children eat nutritious, low-fat meals high in iron, calcium, and vitamin
- You can temporarily reduce lead hazards by repairing damaged painted surfaces and
planting grass to cover soil with high lead levels.
- Always hire a person with special training for correcting lead problems--someone
who knows how to do this work safely and has the proper equipment to clean up thoroughly.
Is diet associated with lead poisoning?
Yes, healthy diet helps protect against lead poisoning. Make sure your child eats
food high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C. These can keep lead from being absorbed
and getting into bones and blood. Foods high in iron include lean meat, turkey,
chicken, dry beans and peas, broccoli, and raisins. Foods high in calcium include
milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, and collard and turnip greens. Foods high in vitamin
C include oranges, grapefruits, potatoes, and tomatoes.
What can I do if I work with lead?
Avoid bringing lead dust home with you on your body, clothes or vehicle. Shower
and change before you come home, and wash your clothes separately from your family's
clothes. Follow all occupational safety guidelines for cleaning and storing work
clothes and equipment.
Can I just paint over existing lead-based paint?
Repairing damaged painted surfaces can temporarily reduce your risk, but it is not
a permanent solution. The paint will continue to flake and chip. Never remove lead
paint yourself or use a belt sander, propane torch, heat gun, dry scraper, or dry
sandpaper on painted surfaces that may contain lead. However, if you plan to remove
it yourself, you should attend the Lead Safe Work Practices