How to Prevent Lead Poisoning

Steps you can take to lower the chances of exposure to lead in your home:

Reduce the dust levels in your home

  • Use a door mat to remove dirt from shoes before taking them off. Clean dust from underneath the mat frequently.
  • Take off your shoes before going into your home. Even after scraping off dirt, shoes will track some dust and lead into your home.
  • Keep play areas clean. Frequently wash toys, pacifiers, stuffed animals and other objects young children put in their mouths.
  • Damp dust and damp mop the house at least once a week. Damp mopping and damp dusting are very effective at picking up dust.
  • Keep your sidewalks and porch free of dust and debris. 
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter if possible.  Be sure to empty the vacuum bag outside and put it into a trash bag.

Healthy eating

  • Wash your hand before every meal and snack.
  • Keep children from eating and chewing on non-food items such as paint chips, window sills, and dirt.
  • Avoid using imported glazed pottery for food.
  • Eat foods high in calcium, Vitamin C and iron. Good nutrition helps prevent the body from absorbing lead.
  • If you enjoy candies imported from Mexico, check the list of candies that have been shown to contain lead, and avoid those candies. Learn more about lead in candies.

EPA's Fight Lead Poisoning with a Healthy Diet - More information on how a healthy diet can protect against lead's harmful effects.

Remodel safety

If you are a homeowner performing renovation, repair, or painting work in your own home, the Environmental Protection Agency's Renovation Repair and Paint (RRP) rule does not cover your project. However, do-it-yourself projects can easily create dangerous lead dust that can be harmful to you and your family. 

Learn more about renovating and remodeling safely.