Lead can be found inside and outside the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around a house. However, the most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978. Lead exposure is most often caused by accidentally swallowing or breathing in the lead dust created by old paint that has cracked and chipped. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous during early childhood development, especially for children who crawl.

Steps that families can take to prevent lead exposure include the following:

  • Take shoes off when entering the house to prevent bringing lead-contaminated soil in from outside.
  • Wash children’s hands and toys often.
  • Clean the home regularly. Wet-mop floors and window sills to remove possible contamination from soil and dust.
  • Talk to your doctor or health care provider about testing young children for lead levels. There is NO known safe blood level for lead. Blood lead tests are usually recommended for children at 12- and 24-months.
  • If your home was built before 1978, get it tested for lead-based paint and learn how to prevent harmful exposures. A certified inspector or risk assessor can check your home for lead-based paint or related hazards.

Find more information, programs, and resources through the links below.

Lead-Based Paint Hazards & Poisoning Prevention Resources

Lead-Based Paint Abatement & Remediation Resources

Community Development Block Grant

P.O. Box 1748
Austin, TX 78767

Phone: (512) 854-3460


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