Lead Exposure Prevention Tips
Steering clear of lead is something that will benefit a person’s entire life- particularly children, who are still growing and developing. To date, there have been no recorded “safe” levels of lead in the bloodstream. Even the smallest amounts can have an effect on your IQ, attention span, and your ability to achieve academically.
Young children tend to have the highest risk of being affected by lead. As they grow they become curious and will put things in their mouth, which might have lead paint on them or lead dust from the deteriorating paint on them.
But what can you do to limit exposure?
1- Have your home tested- make sure that both the paint and dust are tested. Even if you do not suspect lead in the paint, it is best to make sure that nothing fell through the cracks.
2-If you are aware of something being painted with a paint that has lead in it- steer clear!
3- Children and women who are pregnant should not be in housing that is undergoing renovations if the house was built before 1978. They also should not be involved in the clean up afterwards.
4-Keep a barrier in between children and known areas that have lead.
5-Wash your children’s hands and toys regularly. Germs are not the only things to worry about! It is a good practice to keep your children’s belongings as clean as possible, because this will also limit any lead-based paint dust.
6-Wet-mop floors and wet-wipe windows on a regular basis. Again, the dust is a major source of lead so you want to make sure to keep it away. If possible, keep windows shut to prevent any paint or other dust from entering the house.
7-If possible, keep children from playing in bare soil- give them alternatives like sand boxes. Make sure grass is planted to keep the bare soil covered.
8-Some folk medicines and cosmetics contain lead, so check the labels.
9-Shower and change your clothes after working on a project that may have contained lead- and wash your clothes (separately) immediately! These can include: working with stained glass, making bullets, or even using the firing range.
The more proactive you are with the exposure of lead-based projects, the better off your family will be.