Several things around the home can cause lead poisoning:
Lead-based paint – A common source of lead exposure in young children is deteriorating paint found in older homes and buildings.
Soil – Soil can be contaminated by exterior lead paint chips and dust, past use of lead-based insect sprays, or remodeling projects. This contaminated soil may be tracked inside on shoes and clothing.
Air – Air may be contaminated from dust caused by sanding, scraping, or burning during removal of lead based paint. Lead contamination may also occur from living near a manufacturing plant or smelter.
Jewelry – Some adult and children’s jewelry has been found to contain lead.
Toys – Some toys and other consumer products have been found to contain lead.
Water pipes - Lead pipes, brass plumbing fixtures and copper pipes soldered with lead can release lead into tap water.
Risk factors that may increase the risk of lead poisoning include:
Age – Infants and young children are more likely to be exposed to lead than older children or adults. Children may chew paint chips. Or, children may contaminate their hands with lead and then put their finger into their mouth. Young children absorb lead more easily than older children or adults.
Living in an older home – The use of lead-based paint was common until it was banned in 1978. Anyone living in a home or remodeling a home built before 1978 is at greater risk of lead poisoning.
Certain hobbies – Refinishing old furniture could put a person in contact with layers of lead-paint.