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Lead Poisoning

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Who can get lead poisoning?

Anyone can get lead poisoning, but children between 6 months and six years of age are at highest risk. Children can be poisoned by lead when they eat or inhale dust, paint chips or other materials containing lead.

Where is lead found?

  • Homes build before 1978 have the highest risk of having peeling or chipping lead-based paints (inside and outside) and other potential hazards;
  • Other hazards include dirt, old water pipes, hobby areas and workplaces, varnishes on antiques, old painted toys and pottery.
  • Leafy vegetables grown in contaminated soils or chicken eggs from chickens eating lead contaminated materials.
  • Certain imported candies and folk remedies may also be contaminated with lead.

Why are children at highest risk?

Small children put everything in their mouths. They play on the ground and floor where paint chips and dust may have fallen. When children chew on things with lead or lead dust, they may become poisoned by lead. They also:
  • Put fingers and toys into their mouths.
  • Chew and put their mouth on painted window sills, furniture, and railings.
  • Eat dirt and paint chips.

What are the risks of lead poisoning?

Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in:
  • Behavior problems and hyperactivity
  • Lower IQ and learning problems
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Anemia

What are the signs of lead poisoning that I should look for in my children?

  • Often there are no signs. Your children can have lead poisoning and not look or act sick.
  • The only way to know is to have a blood test done.

How can I get items tested for lead?

Key Contacts
Questions or Concerns:
(608) 266-4821

Questions or concerns about the effect of lead on your child or in the environment call 608-266-4821 or email