Lead in drinking water has been all over the news in recent months. Should we be concerned about lead poisoning in King County?
In King County, water is not a common source for lead. Lead in drinking water usually comes from pipes or fittings. These are five things to know about lead in drinking water.
Lead from paint is the most common and dangerous source of exposure. Lead was added to house paint before it was banned in residential paint in 1978, so if your home was built before then, you may have paint with lead in it where you live. This is a concern because as old paint cracks and peels, it creates dangerous dust.
Children under six are most at risk for lead poisoning because their bodies are developing. If you are concerned that your child may have been exposed to lead, talk with your health care provider. The only way to know for sure if a person has been exposed to lead is to do a blood test.
How can you keep your family safer and reduce exposure to lead paint?
- Reduce your exposure to possible lead dust in your home by dusting with a damp cloth and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Keep children away from peeling paint. Lead tastes sweet and children have been known to eat paint flakes.
- If you are remodeling the home you own and live in, and it was built before 1978, follow safe remodeling practices to reduce exposure. If you hire someone, they must be a lead certified contractor.
Another source of lead in our area is contaminated soil. Lead is in soil due to many years of lead in gasoline and years of contamination by regional smelters. Reduce your family’s exposure to lead in soil:
- Remove shoes before going inside
- Cover bare patches in your yard with ground cover
- Keep pets clean.
If you have questions call staff at our Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday to Friday, except holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.