Lead Poisoning

Dangers of Lead Poisoning

The following information was adapted from materials provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Although there has been a dramatic decline in national blood lead levels over the past 10-15 years, childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major, preventable environmental health problem. Young children under 6 years old and pregnant women are most affected by lead and are considered to have elevated lead levels if their blood test results are greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. More than a million homes in Minnesota contain at least some lead paint.

Declining Trend of Average Blood Lead Level

In general, the average blood lead level reported in Minnesota reflects national trends and has been declining. While this decrease may be due to a number of factors, efforts to raise awareness of lead issues, and identify high-risk areas for lead exposure have played a key role.

Common Lead Sources

Common sources of lead in the home include:

  • Lead-based paint
  • Lead dust
  • Food
  • Soil
  • Water

Recently lead has been found in such things as children's sidewalk chalk, crayons and toys.

Additional Resources

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has a wide variety of information and resources on the topic of lead, including health information, remodeling guides, clean-up information and much more. Click here to learn more about MDH's Lead Poisoning Prevention program.