Lead-based paint (pre-1978)
It may have been used both inside and outside of a home and on furniture or objects in the home. Children may eat paint chips or chew on the surfaces of cribs, highchairs, windows, woodwork, walls, doors, or railings.
Lead may be in the soil where children play, especially near busy roadways or factories. The lead from gasoline used for many years has settled onto soil and is difficult to remove. The lead in soil can also be from deteriorated exterior paint. This soil may also be tracked inside on shoes and clothing.
Lead-contaminated dust from paint or soil
It clings to windowsills, floors, doorways and children’s toys, and is dangerous to young children who crawl and often put their hands and other objects in their mouths.
Take-home exposure may be from the dust brought home on clothing, equipment, or in the car or truck driven from work. Lead dust can also come from hobbies that use lead.
Some common jobs and hobbies that use lead include: Battery manufacturing, radiator repair, construction, soldering, recycling, painting, demolition, scrap metal recycling, working with stained glass, pottery making, target shooting, and casting fishing weights.
Imported food in cans that are sealed with lead solder
Some countries other than the United States still allow lead solder in food cans. Cans that have lead solder have very wide seams.
Imported home remedies and imported cosmetics may contain lead
They often are imported from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, the Dominican Republic, or Mexico. The remedies are often bright yellow or orange in color. Examples include: Alarcon, Alkohl, Azarcon, Bali goli, Bint al zahab, Coral, Greta, Farouk, Ghasard, Kandu, Kohl, Liga, Litargirio, Lozeena, Pay-loo-ah, Sindoor, and Surma. There are many others.
Imported or handmade pottery and tableware with leaded glaze
The lead from the glaze gets into food and beverages when these ceramics are used for cooking or storing food.
Imported candies or foods, especially from Mexico
Imported candies or foods containing chili or tamarind may contain lead. Lead can be found in candy, wrappers, pottery containers, and in certain ethnic foods, such as chapulines (dried grasshoppers).
Lead has been found in inexpensive children’s jewelry sold in vending machines across the country. It also has been found in inexpensive metal amulets worn for good luck or protection. Some costume jewelry designed for adults has also been found to contain lead. It is important to make sure that children don’t handle, mouth or swallow any jewelry.