UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

Lead Poisoning is Preventable

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Examples of products that contain lead

This past week was Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  It was good to have a week focused on lead poisoning, but we really need to pay attention to the dangers of lead year around.  Lead poisoning is often preventable.  The most common sources of lead poisoning are lead paint chips and dust.  In 1978 lead was finally removed from residential paints in the United States; however, there are still a lot of old buildings that contain peeling and chipping lead paint.  Paint isn’t the only source in and around your home.  Whether you live in an older home or a new one, you and your child could be exposed to lead.  It can be found in glazes on pottery (new and old), cut crystal, imported toys and jewelry, vinyl window frames and blinds, traditional home health remedies,  and even the paint on your mug or child’s a bottle.

 Why  does it matter?  

Lead is a heavy metal that can affect you and your children.  Low levels of lead in a child’s blood can damage their brain and nervous system, resulting in lower IQ and behavior problems.  Adults can suffer from reproductive problems and high blood pressure.

Here are three things you can do to reduce exposure to lead in your home.

1. Keep you home clean and dust-free

2. Inspect and maintain painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration

3. Teach your children to wash their hands often, especially after playing outdoors

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Checking for lead with an XRF Analyzer

For more ways to reduce your family’s exposure to lead, go to


About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources.

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