Dangers of Lead

Lead can prevent a child from developing to his or her potential. Research has demonstrated that childhood exposure to lead at unsafe levels can cause learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, and brain damage. In pregnant women, lead exposure can pass through the body to the unborn child and result in birth defects or miscarriage.

Lead may be found in dust, paint, glazed pottery or crystal from other countries, drinking water pipes and soil.


About Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is the condition of increased levels of lead in the blood.  Lead is a natural occurring element that is used commonly in commercial & industrial products.  People have small levels of lead in their bloodstream and it may cause no problems, but increased or prolonged exposure can result in lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is especially a concern for children under six years of age.

  • Lead poisoning can cause damage to the kidneys, nervous system, and brain.

  • Lead poisoning may also cause hearing, behavior and learning problems in young children.

  • Once organ systems are damaged, the damage is often irreversible.

  • Often lead poisoning goes undetected because the initial signs are similar to common ailments.

Steps to prevent Lead contamination in your home

  • Taking shoes off when entering the home can keep lead dust levels to a minimum

  • When opening windows, clean out dust and paint chips with an all-purpose cleaner

  • Wash children’s hands and toys often, to keep them from ingesting lead dust

  • Old porcelain bathtubs and sinks are often coated with a lead glaze, have them re-glazed

  • Antique cribs and other furniture were often painted with lead paint

  • Baseboards and wood floors were painted with lead paint for durability

  • Pottery, ceramics, and crystal often contain high amounts of lead

  • Eating foods high in iron and calcium can decrease the amount of lead absorbed into the blood stream

  • Replace all older vinyl mini-blinds, as they may contain high amounts of lead

  • Avoid using the folk medicines, Greta and Azarcon to treat childhood illnesses

  • Before refinishing furniture or stripping paint, be aware of the possible dangers and use proper safety measures and techniques

  • Make sure crayons are either made in America or meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standards




More Information

For more information, visit the Indiana State Department of Health Indiana Lead and Healthy Home Program.

Additional resources can be found using the links below:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead Programs
The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCLSH)
National Safety Council (NSC)
CDC's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Lead
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control


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