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 outside your home 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 child’s hands before every meal and snack.
  • Keep children from eating and chewing on non-food items such as paint chips, windowsills, 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: Lead In Candy
  • 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.