PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM
LEAD IN YOUR HOME
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM
If you think your home has high levels of lead:
- Get your young children tested for lead, even if they seem healthy.
- Wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
- Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods.
- Get your home checked for lead hazards.
- Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
- Wipe soil off shoes before entering house.
- Talk to your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint.
- Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling or renovating.
- Don't use a belt-sander, propane torch, dry scraper, or dry sandpaper on painted surfaces that may contain lead.
- Don't try to remove lead-based paint yourself.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO BUY, RENT, OR RENOVATE A HOME BUILT BEFORE 1978?
Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. By 1996, federal law will require that individuals receive certain information before renting, buying, or renovating pre-1978 housing:
LANDLORDS will have to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases will include a federal form about lead-based paint.
SELLERS will have to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts willinclude a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers will have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.
RENOVATORS will have to give you this pamphlet before starting work.
If you want more information on these requirements, call the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at 1-800-424-LEAD.
IMPORTANT LEAD PAINT FACTS
*Lead From Paint, Dust, and Soil Can Be Dangerous If Not Managed Properly*
FACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.
FACT: Even children that seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
FACT: People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips with lead in them.
FACT: People 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 this pamphlet to learn some simple steps to protect your family.
LEAD GETS IN THE BODY IN MANY WAYS
*1 out of every 11 children in the United States has dangerous levels of lead in the blood stream.*
*Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead.*
People can get lead in their body if they:
Lead is even more dangerous to children than adults because:
- Put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths.
- Eat paint chips or soil that contain lead.
- Breathe in lead dust (especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces).
- Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them.
- Children's growing bodies absorb more lead.
- 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:
Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity)
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
*Lead affects the body in many ways.*
- Difficulties during pregnancy
- Other reproductive problems (in both men and women)
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Nerve disorders
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle and joint pain
CHECKING YOUR FAMILY FOR LEAD
*Get your children tested if you think your home has high levels of lead.*
A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead. Blood tests are important for:
If your child is older than 1 year, talk to your doctor about whether your child needs testing.
- Children who are 6 months to 1 year old (6 months if you live in an older home that might have lead in the paint).
- Family members that you think might have high levels of lead.
Your doctor or health center can do blood tests. They are inexpensive and sometimes free. Your doctor will explain what the test results mean. Treatment can range from changes in your diet to medication or a hospital stay.
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Written by: The Environmental Protection Agency
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