National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week  October 22-28, 2017


Lead can be found in several places both inside and outside of the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around a house. However, it is mostly found in lead-based paint, which was used in homes before 1978. Lead poisoning is most often caused by accidently swallowing or breathing in the lead dust created by old paint that has cracked and chipped.

Children become lead poisoned by:
  • Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects in their mouths,
  • Eating paint chips found in homes from peeling or flaking lead-based paint, or
  • Playing in lead-contaminated soil.
Lead poisoning in children can cause:
    • Damage to the brain and nervous system
    • Learning and behavior problems
    • Slow growth and development
    • Hearing and speech problems
    • Headaches
Some children are at greater risk than others, including those who are:
  • are members of racial-ethnic minority groups,are recent immigrants,
  • from low income families,
  • live in older, poorly maintained rental properties, or
  • who have parents who are exposed to lead at work.


The Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has resources available to educate families , community organizations, housing professionals and other stakeholders about the dangers of lead poisoning, how to find out and what to do about lead in the home , and importantly, how to protect against it.

Call Community Development at 319-291-4429 for any information or concerns you may have.