Preventing Lead Poisoning

Topic Overview

Although lead poisoning can sometimes result from a single large dose of lead, it is usually caused by months or years of exposure to small amounts of lead. People usually don't know when they are being exposed.

Nearly everyone has some lead in his or her body. You probably can't avoid it completely. But there are many ways you can reduce your exposure. Learn how to prevent poisoning from:

  • Lead in your home. Steps may include having your home tested, dealing with any lead that's found, and cleaning your home regularly.
  • Lead in your drinking water. Some simple tips for drinking and cooking with water from the tap can help limit your exposure to lead. Water can also be tested for lead.
  • Lead in the food you eat. How you store, prepare, and serve food can affect its lead levels. And a healthy, balanced diet that includes enough iron can help reduce how much lead your body absorbs. This is especially important for children.
  • Lead involved in your work and hobbies. Some people have jobs or hobbies that expose them to more lead than is typical. If you do this kind of work, you may need to take special steps to reduce your risk of lead poisoning. The same steps can help you avoid bringing lead into your home.

If you have concerns about lead exposure, be sure to talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can find out the amount of lead in your blood.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Last Revised June 5, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

First Nurse

First Nurse

Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!

Ames: 515-239-6877
In Iowa: 800-524-6877 

Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.

Symptom Checker

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Patient Privacy | Net Learning for Employees | MGMC PACS for Physicians
Emergency Preparedness

1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - yourhealth.mgmc@mgmc.com

©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.