Preparing for baby: 6 Ways to remove toxic lead from your home

2/28/2018




Written by Dr. Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP

 
 
Reducing your child’s risk of lead exposure is important—and should begin before your baby comes home from the hospital. This is especially true if you live in a home that was built before lead-based paint was banned.
 
Lead is commonly found in houses built before 1960. These older homes are more likely to have lead particles present, which can expose you and your newborn to toxic lead.
 
Here are six simple tips you should take before you get pregnant, and before bringing your baby home:
 
1.     Have your older home inspected by a qualified professional to determine if you have lead-based paint.
2.     If you have lead-based paint, hire a professional company to remove all lead-contaminated paint.
3.     Have your water tested for lead, especially if you live in an older home, which may have lead in the plumbing or fixtures. If you have questions, call the Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791, or your county health office for local referrals.
4.     If you’re remodeling or redoing your baby’s nursery, make sure you test for lead contamination. Removing old paint is a major source of lead contamination.
5.     Be aware that old toys may contain lead, so be extra cautious about exposing your newborn to older toys and gifts, no matter how nostalgic they may be.
6.     Thoroughly clean all surfaces. Lead can be tracked in from the outside via contaminated soil, especially in areas or regions that have industries that use lead.
 
After your baby is born, your child should be regularly screened for possible lead exposure and may have blood tests to determine their lead blood level. It’s important to keep all your doctor’s appointments.
 

Takeaways
 
·       Prepare your home before bringing your baby home.
·       Test older homes for lead paint.
·       You can have your water tested for lead.
·       Make sure all surfaces are clean.
·       If you’re renovating, test for lead-based paint.
 
 
References
 
  1. Environmental Protection Agency. Home Water Testing.
  2. United States Consumer Products Safety Commission. Protect Your Family From Lead in the Home.  




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