Remember that lead poisoning is preventable, and you can take some simple steps to keep your family safe.
Keep children away from chipping, peeling or flaking house paint, if the structure was built before 1978. If you live in a pre-1978 home, know that it may contain lead-based paint. Learn to work lead-safe if you’re going to disturb the paint and insist that any hired contractor is certified to do the work safely, per the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.**
**EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. (http://www2.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program)
Watch a short video on the importance of the RRP rule here:
Wash children’s hands frequently and regularly wipe down high contact areas like painted window sills where children may put their hands or mouths.
Monitor the condition of your home’s paint and move to action if paint is in a deteriorated condition. If you rent, tell your landlord about chipping or peeling paint. Clean up paint chips with a wet paper towel and place in the trash.
Don’t sand or dry scrape paint in old homes. You could create lead dust that is potentially hazardous to children.
Don’t let children eat dirt. Don’t track dirt inside; remove shoes when entering the house.
Limit your child’s consumption of Mexican candies, especially if they contain tamarind or chili.
Do not give your child home remedies (like azarcon or greta) from other countries. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not use imported pots to cook or store food (like Mexican bean pots), unless you are sure they are lead-safe.
Don’t bring lead home from your work. For example, if you work in construction, are a house painter, or otherwise potentially exposed to lead, learn to work lead-safe and don’t bring it home with you. If you do work in these industries, a safe practice is to change your shoes and clothes before you get into your car as to not track any lead dust with you on your way home.
For more information on keeping your family safe from lead:
download a brochure (English)
download a brochure (Spanish)