Prevent Lead Poisoning 

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There is no safe level of lead for human health. It can affect almost every organ and system, but the main concern is the nervous system. When absorbed into the body, it can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems. 

Children 3 years old and younger and pregnant people are at the highest risk of health impacts from lead. 

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Children with lead poisoning may not look or act sick. Sometimes symptoms may be mistaken for other illnesses. Possible signs of lead poisoning include fatigue or loss of energy, poor appetite, hyperactivity, weight loss, irritability or crankiness, difficulty sleeping, reduced attention span, and constipation or stomach aches. 

If you are concerned your child may have lead poisoning, contact their primary care provider to schedule a test. If your child has a confirmed blood lead level greater than or equal to 3.5 µg/dL, we will provide a free home investigation. Contact our public health industrial hygienist at 720-435-3490 for more information.

Common Sources of Lead

Lead can be found in our environment, including our home. Common sources of lead in our homes include:

  • Paint
  • Dust
  • Drinking water
  • Soil
  • Certain jobs and hobbies
  • Household items and imported goods

If renting, ask your landlord to have your home or apartment tested. Lead can also be found in drinking water. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures. 

5 Ways to Lower Your Child's Risk of Lead Poisoning 

Lead poisoning is preventable. The key is preventing children from coming into contact with lead. 

  1. Make a plan with your healthcare provider
    • A blood test is the best and most readily available way to determine if your child has been exposed to lead. 
    • Most children with lead in their blood have no obvious symptoms.
  2. Find the lead in your home by having your home inspected by a licensed lead inspector
    • Most children get lead poisoning from lead paint in homes built before 1978. It is important to find and fix lead in your home as soon as possible. 
    • Don’t remodel or renovate until your home has been inspected for lead.
    • Home repairs like sanding or scraping paint can make dangerous lead dust. 
  3. Clean up lead dust to prevent children from swallowing dust on their hands or toys
    • When old paint cracks and peels, it makes lead dust. Lead dust is so small you cannot see it. 
    • Use wet paper towels to clean up lead dust and clean around windows, play areas, and floors.
    • Wash hands and toys often with soap and water. 
    • Always wash your hands before eating and sleeping.
    • Use contact paper or duct tape to cover chipping or peeling paint.
  4. Give your child healthy foods that may help keep lead out of the body, such as food rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
    • Calcium is in milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Iron is in lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals.
    • Vitamin C is in oranges, green and red peppers, and juice.
  5. Learn more about preventing lead poisoning