Tips For Reducing Lead Exposure

Lead paint is the major source of childhood lead exposure. Lead paint is primarily a problem in homes built before 1978 and on painted cribs and toys bought before 1978.

  • If painted surfaces are in good condition and are out of the reach of children, DO NOTHING
  • Use only lead free paint. Though lead was banned from house paint in 1977, marine craft and other paints may still contain lead. Read labels carefully. Scrape peeling or flaking paint by hand; collect chips with a drop cloth. Dispose of the drop cloth and chips in an outdoor trash container. After indoor scraping, wash floors, walls and furniture thoroughly. DO NOT allow children or pregnant women into areas where paint is being removed until thorough clean up is complete.
  • Place heavy furniture in front of painted windowsills and moldings to keep children away.

CAUTION: Lead paint removal can be dangerous. Consulting with professionals who has lead hazard removal experience is recommended. For further information regarding childhood lead poisoning, contact:

Department for Health Services Division of Maternal and Child Health and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at: 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40621 ( 502 ) 564-2154.


You can reduce children’s risks of lead poisoning by reducing their exposures to lead in your home. Small amounts of lead can harm a child’s developing nervous system and may result in problems with learning, behavior and coordination.

HOW DO CHILDREN BECOME LEAD POSIONED? Children can develop lead poisoning from exposure to lead in paint chips, dust and soil. Small paint chips may be swallowed when children chew on lead painted objects. Dust and soil containing lead can get on children’s hands and toys and can be swallowed as they play. Food and water may also contain lead.

WHO SHOULD BE CONCERNED? You should be most concerned about children under the age of six because:

  • Young children are very sensitive to lead
  • Young children can be exposed to lead as they play when they put their hands, toys, or paint chips in their mouths.

WHAT SHOULD I DO? The following actions are recommended where lead is suspected and where children under age six live:

  • Relatively inexpensive actions.
  • Actions which are effective but are more expensive to perform.
  • You may want to test for lead before taking these steps.

All parents should call a physician or health care center to ask about annual testing for lead poisoning for children 6 months to 6 years old.

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