Children under age 6 are most at risk from lead poisoning because they are more likely to ingest lead and their bodies are developing rapidly. Babies and small children can swallow or breathe in lead from contaminated dirt, dust, or sand while they play on the ground or floor. Even at low levels of exposure, lead can affect a child’s learning, behavior and growth. Learn more by visiting the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead. Lead may be found in:
- Paint in many homes older than 1978. Most homes built before 1950 have lead-based paint in them.
- Lead paint dust on window sills or toys, pacifiers, and other objects children may put in their mouth.
- Bare soil, particularly within three feet of the foundation of a house built before 1978.
- Some soil in Dakota County may contain car battery chips and parts that are contaminated with lead.
- Water from lead pipes or pipes with lead solders.
- Some consumer products such as fishing tackle, jewelry, toys, cosmetics and home remedies may be contain lead.
Safely dispose of items and materials containing lead at The Recycling Zone.
Testing for lead exposure
Check with your health care provider if you think that your child has a risk for lead exposure. A simple blood test can determine whether your child has been exposed to lead.