What Can You Do?

  1. Minimize Exposure
  • Identify sources of lead dust such as windowsills and household objects using a certified lead risk assessor or a do-it-yourself lead kit that is certified by the EPA (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-06/documents/testkitfactsheet2012.pdf). To save time and money, homeowners should assume exposure and take action. Use a HEPA vacuum or wet mop for cleaning. HEPA filters get rid of the lead dust, whereas regular vacuum cleaners release the lead dust back into the air.
  • Install a water filter in your kitchen. Use a water filter that reduces lead. Certified Water Filters That Reduce Lead Cost Less Than $100
  • Check to see if your water filter on your home and refrigerator are certified.
  • Limit exposed dirt in your yard. Plant sod, flowers, trees to get rid of any bare soil areas.
  • Use glass instead of ceramic coffee mugs.
  • Never let children play with items that are likely to contain lead such as Mardi Gras beads and metal jewelry. Many toys manufactured in China contain lead. Keep up to date on recalled toy products. (https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-toys-and-toy-jewelry).
  1. Treatment Options
  • Chelation is a medical treatment for highly poisoned individuals, usually children. You are usually in intensive care units while undergoing this treatment.
  • Dietary treatments include foods high in calcium, zinc and iron and Vitamin C. Since lead absorption causes calcium and iron deficiency, it is important to replace these two elements in the body. A good rule of thumb is to limit processed foods and replace them with leafy greens and fresh fruits. Here is a list of good foods. http://www.lead.org.au/fs/fst86.html
  1. Utilize Lead Safe Work Practices
  1. Other tips
  • If you work with soil or other materials that contain lead, wash your clothes using the following method.

Wash leaded clothes separate from other clothes

Run the leaded clothes through rinse cycle at least once before washing

Wash them with detergents with surfactants (natural soaps will not remove the lead)

Wash them three times in hot water

Run your washer machine empty to eliminate lead particles

  • Toys and plastic items can also be washed outside in surfactant detergent to remove lead dust
  • Throw out big items such as mattresses and couches if they are covered in lead dust that you can’t clean.