Facts About LeadFACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.FACT: Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.FACT: You can get lead in your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.FACT: You have many options for reducing lead hazards. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.FACT: Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.If you think your home might have lead hazards, read on to learn about lead and some simple steps to protect your family.
Health Effects of LeadChildhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the United States.
People can get lead in their body if they:o Put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths.o Eat paint chips or soil that contains lead.o Breathe in lead dust, especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces.
Lead is more dangerous to children because:o Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them.o Children's growing bodies absorb more lead.o Children's brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:o Damage to the brain and nervous systemo Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivityo Slowed growtho Hearing problemso Headaches
Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:o Reproductive problems (in both men and women)o High blood pressure and hypertensiono Nerve disorderso Memory and concentration problemso Muscle and joint pain
Are you renovating, repairing or painting a home, child care facility or school built before 1978?Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.Protect your family and make sure you only hire a contractor who is in a Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Find a Lead-Safe Certified Firm near you.Read about EPA's requirements for renovation, repair and painting.Read EPA's pamphlet on renovation, repair and painting:• Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools (PDF) (11 pp, 1.1MB)