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We have some tips and suggestions on our How to Prevent Exposure to Lead page. The EPA also has an informative Protect Your Family from Sources of Lead page.
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Yes. Even though lead- based paint was banned decades ago, it may still be in older homes built before 1978. Peeling, cracking, or chipping paint can create lead dust. Hobbies and jobs still can involve working with lead, and imported or vintage items such as cookware, dishes, toys, and jewelry also can contain high levels of lead, as can certain traditional remedies or cosmetics.
Sellers and landlords must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the home. To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “The Lead Disclosure” page.
Make sure no paint is cracking, chipping, or peeling. Get all children in the home tested for lead. For remodeling or renovations, do so safely by using a lead-certified contractor. For more recommendations, be sure to check out the EPA’s How can I tell if my home contains lead-based paint? page.
Food doesn’t remove lead from your child’s body, but foods with calcium and iron can help your child absorb less lead from the environment.
Examples of foods high in calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Foods high in iron are meats, beans, peanut butter, broccoli, and iron-fortified cereals. Some sources of vitamin C, which helps increase absorption of iron, are citrus fruits (like oranges), red and green peppers, strawberries, and juice.
Common sources of lead include paint chips and dust, contaminated soil, drinking water from leaded pipes or dishes, certain jobs or hobbies, and other sources like certain spices, cosmetics, and traditional home remedies. For more specific information about each of these sources, visit our Sources of Lead page.
It is recommended that you contact your child’s pediatrician or health care provider who can order the testing for your child’s blood lead level. For more information:
If your child has lead identified in their blood, discuss this with their health care provider. The actions taken will depend on what the level is.
For children whose level is at or above 3.5 µg/dL, you can expect a call from a public health nurse from Snohomish County Health Department to discuss our case management services.
There is no safe level of lead. Past use of lead has resulted in many sources of lead exposure in the environment and many people have low measurable levels of lead in their blood. For blood lead levels under 3.5 µg/dL, there are things that you can do to reduce your child’s exposure. For help with this, visit our “How to Prevent Exposure to Lead” page.