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Lead Poisoning

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Lead can be very harmful, especially to young children. The most important step parents can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs.

  • Childhood lead poisoning at low levels may make learning difficult, interfere with growth, harm hearing and delay development.  
  • Childhood lead poisoning at high levels may cause coma, convulsions and even death.

Lead can be found throughout a child's environment, including:

  • homes built before 1978 that contain lead-based paint
    • peeling and cracking paint makes lead dust that can poison children when they swallow or breathe in the dust
  • certain water pipes
  • some consumer products, such as some toys and jewelry
  • some candies imported from other countries or traditional home remedies
  • certain jobs and hobbies involve working with lead-based products may cause parents to bring lead into the home.

Lead Paint Inspection and Removal


Lead-Safe Renovation

Any contractor doing renovation in PA homes older than 1978 must be a certified renovator. The purpose of lead-safe renovation is to assure that new lead hazards are not created during the work. The EPA enforces the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule in Pennsylvania. For a searchable list of Certified Renovators visit the EPA website.

Need more information?

The Department of Health provides a toll-free Lead Information Line (1-800-440-LEAD) to respond to caller questions and provide electronic materials about lead poisoning and other environmental hazards.

External Resources