Wet cleaning & damp dusting your home whenever you see dust (or at least once a week) can help keep young children from eating lead dust.

Here’s how:

  • Always clean with water! NEVER dry wipe, dry dust, or use a dry broom to sweep, which can spread the dust in the air & make the lead hazard worse!
  • Use paper towels, a sponge, rag, or mop & dip it in a bucket of clean water. Squeeze the extra water out. Then wipe the area that needs to be cleaned.
  • Always use two buckets so that you can rinse in a separate bucket of water
  • Keep dipping the sponge, rag, or mop in the bucket as you clean. Change rinse water often. (Discard dirty water in toilet – NEVER in your kitchen or bathroom sink)

Help protect children from lead by serving healthy foods & preparing it safely

  • Choose foods rich in calcium (e.g. milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach), iron (e.g. beans, meat, eggs, fortified cereals, spinach), & vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruits & juices, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, mango, & papaya)
  • If you use tap water for drinking, cooking, & preparing infant formula – NEVER USE THE HOT WATER FAUCET
  • Let tap water run for one minute before you use it to help clear out the lead from old plumbing (remember, if it’s going in your child’s mouth use the cold water tap!)

If an older building is undergoing renovations children & pregnant women should stay away! Children can also be exposed to lead from adults' clothing. Make sure to change clothes & wash carefully after any painting or construction project.

Click for information on lead-poisoning programs by state

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Are you pregnant? Tell your healthcare provider if you think you've been exposed to lead, or if your child has an elevated blood-lead level. Click here to learn more


Lead sources may include: paint chips, dust, & soil in or around older (pre-1978) buildings older painted objects leaded glass, crystal, pewter, & ceramic dishes (more likely in painted china & in pottery from Latin America, the Middle East, & India) herbal/traditional remedies & cosmetics from other countries candy from Mexico toys & trinkets
Doctors and Public Health, click here to learn how the LeadCare II system can help you meet your state's blood-lead screening requirements.