Homes built before 1978 can have lead in the surrounding soil. Children generally ingest lead- contaminated soil and dust at higher rates than adults because of hand-to-mouth behaviors.
What should you know?
- Lead dust flaking from old paint can most likely be found within 15 feet of the home, fence and garage.
- Because children crawl, they are more likely to breathe and ingest lead-contaminated dust and soil.
- Traces of lead can be found in everyday products made outside the United States, within cosmetics, cookware or even candy.
- When outside, keep children out of bare soil.
- Check for peeling paint near bare soil and cover those areas with grass or mulch.
- Wash dirt and dust off of hands, body, toys, bottles and clothes.
- Always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with cold water for 1 minute or until all dirt and dust is removed.
- See a doctor if you’re worried about lead exposure.
What should you NOT do?
- DO NOT garden close to your home, fence or garage. Keep gardens 15 feet away from these areas.
- DO NOT walk through the home with dusty shoes or clothes if you work with lead, are renovating a home or have recently been exposed to bare soil.
- DO NOT purchase cosmetics, cookware or candy made outside the United States that could contain lead.
- Get tested for lead exposure: Contact your doctor, local WIC Clinic or your city’s Health Department.
- Well Fed Means Less Lead! See the Get Well Fed page for tips on protecting your family through the use of healthy foods.