Preventing Lead Poisoning

Preventing lead poisoning is important for the growth and health of a child. There is no safe level of lead for the human body.

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Nutrition

Nutrition plays an important role in a child’s development and growth. But did you know it's important for preventing lead poisoning? The body can absorb lead faster on an empty stomach. Certain foods can protect against lead poisoning! Vitamin C, calcium, and iron can block lead from being absorbed, and may help get rid of it.

Vitamin CCalciumIron

- Citrus (Oranges and Orange Juice)

- Cantaloupe

- Strawberries

- Kiwis

- Sweet red peppers

- Tomatoes

- Broccoli

- Cabbage 

- Cheese

- Yogurt

- Milk

For lactose-intolerant diets, consider the following food items:

  • Dark leafy greens (kale, chard, collard greens)
  • Broccoli
  • Beans (white or red)
  • Almonds
  • Chickpeas
  • Orange juice (fortified with Calcium)
  • Figs
  • Prunes 

- Beef

- Pork

- Chicken

- Seafood

- Beans

- Peas

- Dark, leafy green vegetables

- Iron-fortified cereals, breads, and pastas 

There are other benefits to eating these foods. Vitamin C helps the body fight infections. Iron helps the blood carry oxygen in our bodies, keeping our organs healthy. Serve foods with vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods to help the body better absorb iron. Calcium helps the body build strong bones and keep muscles in shape. 


Cleaning

Keeping your home clean is an important method of preventing lead poisoning. Regular cleaning can control the amount of lead dust in your home.

  • If you live in a home built before 1978, check for chipping, peeling or flaking paint. Painted surfaces that are frequently moved or rub together, such as windows, doors or stairways, may create lead dust.
  • If you find chipping, peeling or flaking paint, remove the pieces with a damp rag/paper towel and throw both the paint and rag/paper towel away.
  • Wipe hard surfaces with a damp rag or paper towel and all-purpose cleaner
  • Mop uncovered floors with a sponge or string mop and all-purpose cleaner
  • Use a HEPA filter vacuum on carpets and rugs. If there are stains, use a damp rag/paper towel to spot clean.

Drinking Water

If you live in older housing, your home may have older plumbing. Older plumbing can have lead in the solder, pipes, faucets or fixtures, which can leach into the water supply over time. Older, private wells can have lead from the materials used to set up the well.
To know for sure if your water has lead, you can ask your water supplier for a lead check. If you own a private well, there are tests you can do to check if your well has lead. If you think lead is in your water, there are steps you can take

  • Always run the water before cooking, drinking, showering or preparing baby formula.
  • Never use hot water, as this can release more lead in the water. Only use cold water for cooking, drinking, or preparing baby formula.
Last updated July 21, 2020