Elevated lead in the blood is linked to developmental problems in children, including slow growth, lower intelligence, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and hearing and language problems. The only effective prevention is identifying and eliminating the source of lead in the house.
Your child is at high risk for lead poisoning and needs to be tested if you live in a house built before 1978 that may have lead-based paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978.
If the paint was allowed to deteriorate, tiny particles of paint will mix with other household dust. This dust is inhaled with indoor air and settles on items that often wind up in a child’s mouth, such as toys, pacifiers, bottles, hands and furniture.
Sources of Lead
According to federal standards, blood lead levels should not exceed 10 micrograms per deciliter (mg/dL). Other sources of lead in a home may include:
- Soil around a home: Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint or other sources, such as past use of leaded gas in cars.
- Household dust: Dust can pick up lead from deteriorating lead-based paint or from soil tracked into a home.
- Drinking water: Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. Contact the Summit County Health Department at 435-336-3234 or water supplier to find out about testing your water. You cannot see, smell, or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it: Use only cold water for drinking and cooking. Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
- Workplace: If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family’s clothes.
- Old painted toys and furniture.
- Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain.
- Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture.
SCHD does not perform lead inspection on private business or homes; however, SCHD does have qualified staff to assist in answering questions and providing consultation regarding lead.
Bob Swensen, Environmental Health Director, Summit County Health Department
650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, Utah 84060
Phone: 435-333-1584, Fax: 435-333-1580