Is your home free of lead? This is an important question for every homeowner and parent. With so many recalls on children’s toys and other items, parents must take inventory in their homes. In fact, thousands of children and adults are accidentally poisoned by lead each year. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports many children have blood lead levels high enough to cause permanent damage.
Lead is a toxic metal that causes damage to the brain and nervous system. And if you don’t find the source and eliminate it, lead poison gets into the body and accumulates over time. Also, children ages six and younger, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. Importantly, overexposure can impair their mental and physical development. So, keep reading to learn how to keep your home free of lead.
Sources and Precautions to Keep Your Home Free of Lead
To make sure your home is free of lead, follow these tips:
- Take inventory and remove any recalled toys or items. Discard any toys with chipped paint, broken parts or deteriorated plastic.
- Clean up, as paint chips, dirt and dust on the floor has been found to contain lead. Also, keep play areas clean and toys off the floor. And be sure to wash toys often and children’s hands after play.
- Keep food in lead-free containers such as glass and stainless steel. Run cold water through lead pipes for several minutes before using it.
- Buy smart and always non-toxic to keep your home free of lead. So, look for safe, age-appropriate toys specifically for children. And remember, adult supplies may contain lead and other toxins.
- Find substitutes for recalled products or those with a troubling track record. For example, buy safe alternatives like books, unpainted wooden toys, balls and washable stuffed animals. And research the product to find out who made it and where. Also, you may want to buy American-made toys.
Lead Poisoning Testing
If you are concerned about lead poisoning, have your child undergo a screening for lead exposure through a simple blood test. And remember, even children who appear healthy may have high levels of lead. Also, consider having a trained professional test for lead in your home. With a little time and effort, you can keep your home free of lead.
For more information about lead poisoning call 800-424-5323 or visit the site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.