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Are there other things I can do to protect my children from lead?

Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health, causing damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers these suggestions for protecting your family from lead exposure:

  • Ask your local water department if you have a lead service line. If so, use bottled water for cooking and drinking. If you cannot afford bottled water, look for a “point of use” filter certified for lead removal;
  • Use only cold water for cooking or drinking, and run your faucet on cold for one to two minutes before using it;
  • Request that your landlord fix surfaces in the home that have peeling or chipping lead-based paint;
  • Clean your floors, windowsills, and other surfaces using a damp cloth or mop, to minimize dust, which may contain lead;
  • Keep yourself, your children and your pets out of areas where your landlord is making repairs in which a lot of dust is created. Make sure your landlord is using lead-safe practices, keeping the dust confined, and cleaning thoroughly with a wet mop when done;
  • Remove your shoes before entering your house, and, if possible, leave them on a mat outside the door;
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often;
  • Making sure children eat nutritious meals high in iron and calcium; and
  • Talk to your health care provider about testing your children for lead. Your pediatrician can check for lead with a simple blood test;

Tenants may call The National Lead Information Center hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD(5323), and request a general information packet. For more information about lead, visit, or

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