Your child's physician can test your child's blood levels for lead. The tests are inexpensive or, in some cases, free. Your child's physician will explain the test results to you and recommend treatment.
If you think your home has high levels of lead:
- have young children tested for lead, even if they seem healthy
- make sure your entire family washes their hands before eating and going to bed
- wash your child's bottles, pacifiers and toys often
- make sure your child eats healthful foods with adequate iron and calcium (minerals which can help decrease lead absorption)
- have your home checked for lead hazards, including water faucets
- clean floors, windowsills and other surfaces with soapy water often
- wipe soil off shoes before entering the house
- talk with your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint
- take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling or renovating (call 1-800-424-LEAD for guidelines)
- don't use a belt-sander, propane torch, dry scraper or dry sandpaper on painted surfaces that may contain lead
- don't try to remove lead-based paint yourself (have it professionally removed).
Lead is also harmful to adults, who may suffer from:
- difficulties during pregnancy
- reproductive problems in both men and women
- high blood pressure
- digestive problems
- nerve disorders
- memory and concentration problems
- muscle and joint pain.