Preventing Lead Poisoning

A toddler examining the wood floor

Primary prevention of lead poisoning is 100% doable. It can be accomplished by eliminating lead hazards before children are exposed.

Wisconsin encourages parents to check their home for lead hazards, especially for chipping and peeling lead-based paint in homes built before 1978, and maintain their home in a lead-safe condition.

Read more below about what parents and homeowners can do to prevent childhood lead poisoning.

 

Information on this page has been organized into two categories. Please choose one of the following tabs.

What Parents Can Do

Prevention and intervention

Preventing lead exposure is so critical because there is no safe level of lead in the human body. Check your home for chipping and peeling lead-based paint and other lead hazards and maintain your home in a lead-safe condition to protect your family from exposure to lead hazards. More detailed information can be found on the Check and Maintain Your Home page and the What Homeowners Can Do tab on this page.

Reliable Sources of Information on Protecting Children from Lead

Protect Your Children from Lead in Your Home (PDF) | En Español (PDF)

Blood Lead Levels in Children: What Do Parents Need to Know to Protect Their Children? (PDF)

What You Should Know about Your Child's Blood Lead Results (PDF)

Parents: Look Out for Lead, P-44535a (Multiple Languages)

Nutrition

Regular well-balanced meals are important for adequate growth and development in all children.

Children who do not have enough iron in their body may absorb lead more easily. An age-appropriate diet that includes the recommended amount of iron can help the body avoid absorbing lead. However, research shows that taking iron supplements does not help lower blood lead levels.

Families of children with lead poisoning that are income eligible can receive nutritional support from WIC, especially to get iron from food.

Reliable information for providing good nutrition for children exposed to lead

Feeding Your Child, Eating Right: Preventing Childhood Lead Poisoning, P-44968 (PDF)

Wisconsin Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program Clinic Locations: Children from income-eligible families at risk for a poor diet can receive education and support for improving or maintaining nutritional status.

What Homeowners Can Do

Common renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint (like sanding, cutting, replacing windows, and more) can create hazardous lead dust and chips which can be harmful to adults and children. Home repairs that create even a small amount of lead dust are enough to poison your child and put your family at risk.

  • Read the "5 Reasons" brochure, P-00296 (PDF) that describes why you should hire a lead-safe renovator.
  • Lead-Safe Renovation Videos: These videos provide step-by-step demonstrations of lead-safe work practices. A transcript and supplies list for each video are provided as additional tools.
  • Lead-Safe Companies: These directories provide lists of companies that offer lead abatement, lead-safe renovation, lead-based paint investigation, or clearance services in Wisconsin. The Department of Health Services (DHS) does not endorse the companies on this list, nor imply preference over companies not on a list.
  • The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right (PDF) | En Español (PDF)
Last Revised: September 26, 2019