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How Can I Protect Myself and Loved Ones From Lead Exposure?

By Ross Testaiuti, Law Clerk

By Ross Testaiuti, Law Clerk

The New York City Department of Health gives the following recommendations to help prevent lead exposure:

1. Report Peeling, Cracked, or Loose Paint: If you notice peeling, cracked, or loose paint in your home, inform your building owner. They are obligated to address this issue safely. If they fail to do so or if you have safety concerns, you can report them online or by calling 311.

2. Use Safe Work Methods for Home Repairs: When undertaking home repairs that may disturb paint, ensure you follow lead-safe work methods. For guidance on such methods, contact 311.

3. Avoid Contact with Peeling Paint and Repair Areas: Keep away from peeling paint and areas where home repairs are ongoing.

4. Practice Good Hygiene: Regularly wash floors, windowsills, hands, toys, and pacifiers. Pay special attention to washing children’s hands after outdoor play and before meals.

5. Prevent Lead Tracking: Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in lead dust from outside.

6. Take Precautions Before Doing Laundry: If someone in your household works with lead, wash their work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.

7. Take Precautions Before using tap water: Use only cold tap water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Run the water for at least 30 seconds or until it noticeably cools before using it. You can request a free Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit online or by calling 311.

8. Avoid Lead-Containing Products: Be cautious about using consumer products that may contain lead, especially traditional items from other countries where “lead” might not be listed on the packaging.

9. Never Ingest Non-Food Items: Do not consume non-food items such as clay, crushed pottery, soil, or paint chips.

10. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Consult your doctor to ensure you and your child are receiving adequate calcium, iron, and vitamin C in your diet.

11. Practice Safe Gardening Practices: Follow the New York City Department of Health’s gardening tips to grow and consume fruits and vegetables safely. These guidelines aim to help you protect yourself and your family from lead exposure and its associated health risks: Safe Gardening in NYC: How to Reduce Your Exposure to Contaminated Soil.

If you or a loved one, suspect lead paint poisoning, please contact us for a free initial consultation on your case.

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