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Lead Poisoning 101

Local Services

Why is lead dangerous to children and pregnant women?

  • Lead is a poison.
  • Lead can cause learning disabilities, mental retardation, and other serious health problems.
  • There is no safe level of lead. Low levels of lead can harm children.
  • Lead is especially dangerous to children under 6, even in utero.

How can children under 6 and pregnant women get tested for lead?

  • Call your family doctor, OR
  • Call the Lincoln Community Health Center at (919) 956-4000

Where do young children and pregnant women get exposed to lead?

  • Lead is common in paint and solder found on pipes in homes built before 1978.
  • Dust and chips from paint inside and outside older homes are dangerous to children.
  • Sanding, scraping or heating old paint is dangerous to pregnant women.
  • Lead may be in imported products, including:
    • painted, plastic or metal toys and jewelry, ceramic dishes, and vinyl mini-blinds
    • traditional remedies or cosmetics, like Azarcon, Greta, and Kohl
    • candies and other “Toxic Treats” that contain lead

What can I do to keep children safe from lead?

  • Wash children’s hands often with lots of soap and water – not just wipes!
  • Clean floors and window sills with warm water and detergent. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean carpets.
  • Don't dry-sand or scrap old paint. Lay down plastic and spray the paint with water before scraping. Be sure to clean up any dust and paint chips.
  • Hire NC-Certified Lead Renovation Firms for homes built before 1978. Call 919-707-5950 or visit this website.
  • Only use lead-free imported toys, jewelry, dishes, blinds, remedies, cosmetics, and candies.
  • Capital Bank
  • City of Durham EWD
  • NC Housing Coalition
  • NC Housing Finance Agency
  • Triangle Community Foundation
  • United Way of the Greater Triangle
  • UNC - Chapel Hill
  • Wells Fargo
  • Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
    Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
  • Equal Housing Opportunity
  • BB&T
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
  • The Burt's Bees Foundation
    The Burt's Bees Foundation