Lead

Ingested or inhaled this toxic substance can cause serious health problems.

Lead is a current and present danger in our environment. The fossil fuels we use as well as some types of industrial equipment, and the prior use of lead paint expose our families to the hazards of lead.

 

Older homes and buildings being remodeled, or factory processes may release lead into our environment. Once released into the air lead may travel long distances before settling into the soil, then possibly filtering down into the groundwater and contaminating our water supply.

Health Risks due to Exposure to Lead

The most at risk for lead poisoning are children. Their small bodies absorb more lead than adults and they are more likely to ingest greater quantities of lead. Little hands touch everything and their hands go into their mouths. Toys or surfaces contaminated by lead or even vegetables from lead contaminated soil can be the cause of a number of health problems for children.

Adults are also at risk from exposure to lead. Reproductive problems, higher blood pressure, and hypertension are a few of the health effects of lead exposure. Pregnant women may develop high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

Common Health Concerns in Children

  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Anemia
  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioral problems

What if Lead is found?

A trained professional should be hired to remove lead paint from your structure. However there are a few steps you can take to reduce or control your exposure to lead until it is removed. Clean up paint chips and keep surfaces free of dust with a damp sponge or paper towel. Planting grass in contaminated soil can help contain the soil for a short while. If possible vacuum carpets with a HEPA filter or “high efficiency bag” equipped vacuum.

Additional Resources