Reduce Lead Exposure in Your Home

Here’s some advice for consumers from consumersunion.org, the independent, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

Given lead’s potential for harm, Consumers Union believes that manufacturers should eliminate its use or reduce it to the smallest trace amounts. But for consumers who are looking to minimize their lead risks, Consumer Reports advises the following:

  • Reduce lead exposure in the home – Consumers who live in pre-1978 housing should evaluate lead risks in their home. The main concerns are deteriorating paint, dust, soil, and water. Have children tested for lead – The EPA recommends all children be tested at ages 1 and 2. Some pediatricians also recommend testing at annual checkups under age 6.
  • Check recall lists – Consumers should go to http://www.cpsc.gov/ for photos and descriptions of toys and other products recalled due to lead contamination.
  • Consume adequate calcium and iron – People whose diets don’t contain sufficient amounts absorb more lead.
  • You can also try home lead-testing kits. More on the home kits in our next post below….
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