Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

Lead poisoning from paint

If your home was built before 1970, lead may be present in lead-based paint, so read these safety tips.

Man painting a wall

If your home was built before 1978, it likely contains lead-based paint. Deteriorated lead-based paint is present in as many as 24 million residences in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lead exposure isn't something to take lightly, particularly if you have young children.

No safe levels

Lead is dangerous to people of all ages, but children younger than 6 years old are particularly susceptible. Some of the effects of lead exposure — even low levels — in children and adults can include:

  • Damage to the kidneys and nervous system
  • Learning disabilities
  • Issues with speech, language and behavior
  • Slowed physical growth
  • High-risk pregnancies and fertility issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Problems with digestion

A simple blood test at the doctor's office can detect lead poisoning. The best way to treat lead poisoning is to remove or minimize exposure to lead.

Reducing the risk

Hire a certified inspector or risk assessor to test your home. If your home has lead-based paint, take these steps to keep your family safe.

  • Check surfaces. Lead-based paint in good shape is not a threat. But wear and tear is likely, particularly with painted window frames, doors, doorframes and stairs. Regularly inspect surfaces for peeling, chipping or damage.
  • Keep it clean. Even a few particles of lead-based paint can be hazardous. Regularly wipe down floors, windowsills and other paint-covered surfaces to keep them free from lead dust.
  • Remodel with care. Home improvements that involve scraping or disturbing paint may release toxic lead dust. If you're the DIY type, learn as much as you can about lead-safe practices. Or, better yet ...
  • Hire a pro. Enlist a Lead-Safe Certified renovation firm to help with your next project, or hire a certified lead abatement contractor to ditch lead for good. Find certified inspection, risk assessment, abatement and renovation firms on the EPA's website.
  • Look past the paint. Lead also may be present in soil tracked into the house, on some children's toys and even in older pipes and plumbing. Is there lead in your tap water?

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.




844-364-0100

Also Important

Is Lead Lurking in Your Tap Water?

Is Lead Lurking in Your Tap Water?

Lead in tap water can be a dangerous problem for you and your family. It is recommended to take precautions and test your water regularly. Review these helpful tips that may help you stay safe.

Causes and Prevention for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Causes and Prevention for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is poisonous to humans and animals. Learn the warning signs to prevent CO poisoning.

Related Articles

What Is Radon Gas

What Is Radon Gas

How to test for and treat your home for this colorless, odorless and dangerous gas.

Causes and Prevention for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Causes and Prevention for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is poisonous to humans and animals. Learn the warning signs to prevent CO poisoning.

Talk About and Practice Fire Safety

Talk About and Practice Fire Safety

Stop, drop and roll is only the beginning — fire safety games and practice can help kids get educated.