Lead in Household Environments

Lead in Water

Lead can reach our drinking water via plumbing systems including the pipes and fixtures in our homes, schools and workplaces.  Exposure risk is higher in older homes (built prior to 1986). Corrosion of these pipes and fixtures can also allow lead to leach into the drinking water. Testing kits are sold at most home improvement stores. You can also contact your local health department or water supplier to have your water tested. For more information, please visit the CDC and EPA lead Web pages.

Lead in Air

Everyone deserves a healthy home environment, yet lead-based paints can still be found inside and outside of homes. Paint is the most common source of lead exposure, especially in homes built prior to 1978. One in four homes has lead-based paint, which puts children at increased risk when the lead paint starts to peel and chip. Lead from peeling or flaking paint is able to get into household dust, allowing us to breathe it in. This dust from lead-based paint can cover surfaces, like the counters, windowsills and floors, where children often play. For more information, please visit the EPA’s lead Web page.  The CDC has helpful insights on what you can do to prevent lead in the home as well as helpful information for parents.

Learn more about APHA’s work to support healthy homes.