What are the dangers of lead paint?

Lead paint is a serious health hazard, especially for young children. When lead-based paint chips or dust is ingested or inhaled, it can cause a range of health problems, including:

  • Learning and behavior problems
  • Delayed growth and development
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Anemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Reproductive problems
  • Infertility
  • Death

Lead poisoning is especially dangerous for young children because their bodies are still developing. Even low levels of lead exposure can cause serious damage to a child’s brain and nervous system. Lead poisoning can also lead to learning and behavior problems, which can have a lasting impact on a child’s life.

If you live in a home with lead-based paint, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your family from exposure. The following tips can help:

  • Have your home tested for lead-based paint.
  • If lead-based paint is found, have it properly removed by a certified professional.
  • Keep lead-based paint in good condition.
  • Clean up lead dust and paint chips immediately.
  • Keep children away from areas where lead-based paint is present.

If you think you or your child may have been exposed to lead, it is important to see a doctor right away. Lead poisoning can be treated, but the sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome.

Here are some additional information about lead paint:

  • Lead paint was banned in the United States in 1978, but it is still present in many older homes.
  • Lead-based paint is most likely to be found in homes built before 1978.
  • Lead-based paint can be found on any surface in a home, but it is most commonly found on windows, doors, and painted surfaces.
  • Lead-based paint can be dangerous even if it is not peeling or cracking.
  • Lead-based paint dust can be created when lead-based paint is disturbed, such as during renovations or repairs.
  • Lead-based paint dust can be inhaled or ingested, and it can cause lead poisoning.

If you are concerned about lead paint in your home, you can get help from the following organizations:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 1-800-424-LEAD
  • The National Lead Information Center: 1-800-424-LEAD
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 1-800-656-4673