Lead Poisoning Prevention - How to be Pb Safe

How to be Pb Safe

What is lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that has been used throughout history. Most commonly, in the 20th century lead was put in paint to increase its life span.

Where do you find lead? 

Lead is easy to extract and easy to work with, therefore, it has been used in a wide variety of products including:

  • Paint
  • Ceramics
  • Pipes
  • Solders
  • Gasoline
  • Batteries
  • Cosmetics

Since 1980, federal and state regulations have helped to minimize or eliminate the amount of lead in consumer products and occupational settings.

The most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are:

  • Lead-based paint in older homes (built before 1978)
  • Contaminated soil
  • Household dust (only if you have lead based paint in your home)
  • Drinking water (only if your home has lead solder within the plumbing) 
  • Lead crystal
  • Lead-glazed pottery

Who is at risk? 

Children under the age of 6 are at higher risk because their growing bodies absorb more lead and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

Babies and young children can be exposed to lead because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths.

Children may also be exposed to lead by eating and drinking food or water containing lead or from dishes or glasses that contain lead, inhaling lead dust from lead-based paint or lead-contaminated soil or from playing with toys with lead paint.

How do I know if there is lead in my home?

If your home was built before 1978, assume you have some lead-based paint, unless testing shows otherwise.

How can I protect my family during home renovations?

Before starting home renovations, be sure to find a certified RRP (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) contractor. For a list of certified RRP contractors near you please visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm

If you are planning to do home renovations yourself, please visit http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/environmental_health/lead/pdf/Repairs_Renovations.pdf for tips on how you can keep your family safe.

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