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.

What can
you do?

  • 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.

Additional resources:

  • 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.

What you eat can help protect your family against lead!