How can I protect myself from lead in paint and in dust?

If you live in a home built before 1978:

  • Wash toys and flat surfaces – like windowsills and tables – using soapy water.
  • Take your shoes off before going into your home to avoid tracking lead-containing soil and dust from outside.

  • Vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtered vacuum.

  • Eat healthy foods with calcium, iron, and vitamin C to limit the amount of lead getting into your body.

  • Always wash your hands before eating to keep from accidentally swallowing lead dust.

  • Grow fruits and vegetables in raised beds.

  • Keep paint in good repair; fix chipping or cracked paint right away, and consider hiring a certified lead professional to test your home and help with home repairs and renovation in houses built before 1978.

A blood lead test is the only way to know if you and your loved ones have recent or on-going exposures to lead. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services considers 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more to be an Elevated Blood Lead Level (or EBLL). Talk to your healthcare provider about getting a blood lead test for you and your loved ones if you’re concerned about a recent or on-going lead exposure.