If you think your home has high levels of lead, the Environmental Protection Agency advises taking the following steps:

Make sure your children eat healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium and vitamin C.

Get your children tested for lead, even if they seem healthy.

Get your home tested for lead if it was built before 1978. Call 1-800-424-LEAD for more information.

Always wash your hands before eating.

Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys.

Do not use imported pottery to store or serve food.

Let tap water run for one minute before using.

Use only cold water for making your baby’s formula, drinking and cooking.

Regularly clean floors, windowsills and other surfaces using wet methods that control dust.

Wipe or remove shoes before entering your house.

If you rent, it is your landlord’s job to keep paint in good shape. Report peeling or chipping paint to your landlord and call your health department if the paint is not repaired safely.

Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling or renovating.

Don’t try to remove paint yourself!

For additional information on protecting yourself and your family from lead exposure, contact or go to:

The National Lead Information Center: 1-800-424-LEAD [424-5323)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791
EPA Lead Program: www.epa.gov/lead
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): www.hud.gov/offices/lead

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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