lead paint Safety Tips

Most of us know that lead paint is hazardous to children. Lead poisoning can cause severe anemia and permanent brain damage.

What many of us don't realize, however, is that children's bodies can harbor dangerous levels of lead without their ever gnawing on a single paint chip.

So get rid of that picture in your mind of a child pulling paint chips off the window from his crib. 

The problem is usually exposure to lead good dust, onto which particles of lead paint have settled. These safety tips can help you deal with this threat at home.

The Dangers of Lead Paint Dust

Lead paint dust results from the normal friction of opening and closing drawers, doors, windows, and door frames coated with lead paint.

Tiny fragments can fly into the air and later settle on the floor - well within reach of small hands and mouths.

Lead dust and chips can also be found outside the home, with the densest concentrations within three feet of a home's exterior.

This is usually the result of the peeling and chipping of exterior lead-based paint or lead dust released by recent renovations or repainting.

Although lead poisoning can also harm older children and adults, the threat is worst for children under 6 and for fetuses exposed to lead through their mother's bloodstream. 

Despite lead paint's potential for harm, like asbestos, we can live with it. Many experts believe that controlling the hazard is a far better solution than removing it altogether.

Good options include covering the area with wallpaper, paneling, or new lead-free paint.

Once lead-painted surfaces are covered, they are generally safe unless they are re-exposed, scraped, or start to chip or peel.

If you have small children, you'll need to do a bit more to keep them safe from lead poisoning. Wash a child's hands, face, and toys frequently, mop hard surface floors, windowsills, and baseboards at least once a week (don't use the mop for anything else).

Load your children's diet with iron-rich foods, including lean meats, beans, spinach, tuna, eggs, and greens. Iron helps block some absorption of lead.

Exterior House Paint Precautions

Outside, plant grass or another ground cover as a barrier between your children and lead in the soil, from chipping, peeling exterior paint, or car exhaust fumes that settle on the ground.

And if you live in or plan to buy a pre-1978 home, consider hiring a trained professional to do an assessment. Kits for home testing for leaded paint are also available.

Some of these kits can also test for other sources of lead, such as in handmade, brightly colored or imported dishes, mugs and dinnerware, which can leach hazardous amounts of lead into your food and drink.

Be aware that leaded crystal can leach lead into stored liquids, particularly acidic beverages such as wine or juice. 

Vigilance in mitigating or eliminating lead dust will go a long way toward keeping your kids safe at home. 

You might like these:

  • Safe at Home

    Easy ways to keep your home and family safe from intruders, accidents, and natural disasters.

  • Asbestos Awareness Can Keep Your Family Safe

    Ignorance can be bliss. Or at least it used to be. But Asbestos awareness, especially at home, can help protect your family from its ravaging effects.

  • How to Prevent Accidents at Home

    As we all know - accidents happen. But you can prevent accidents at home without turning your home into a fortress.

  • Protect Your Home Against Intruders

    Whether your home is humble or palatial, there's probably something inside it of interest to thieves. These tips to protect your home can help.

  • Tips for Choosing Security Door Locks

    The better the security door locks on your home's doors, the more difficult it is for intruders to get inside. What you need to know about choosing door locks.

  • 4 Steps to Creating a Safe Home

    You don't need to spend a bundle to keep your home safe from environmental and man-made hazards. These tips for a safe home can help.

  • What to Know About Radon Gas in Your Home

    Radon gas is an odorless menace, moving up through soil into homes through foundation cracks. Here's how to find out if radon is present in your home.

  • 10 Pool Safety Rules for Kids

    Since we're outside so much during summer, we need to consider setting some backyard and pool safety rules to play by.

  • Kids Home Safety Tips

    Children have a way of finding hazards at home you might never have suspected were there. These kids home safety tips can help keep little ones safe.

  1. Clean Home
  2. Safe at Home
  3. Lead Paint Safety Tips


Have your say about what you just read!