How am I exposed to lead in paint and in dust?

Lead in paint and dust can get into your body when you breathe or swallow the lead dust or lead-based paint chips. 

  • You can accidentally breathe or swallow lead in several ways, including:
    • Breathing in lead dust.
    • Accidentally getting lead dust in your mouth.
    • Not washing your hands before eating.
    • Eating lead-based paint chips.

Lead dust and lead-based paint chips settle on surfaces and objects people touch. 

  • Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when:
    • Vacuuming or sweeping.
    • People or pets walk through it.
    • Air is blowing in the home for any reason, including wind from open windows or fans.

Lead dust is the most common way children come into contact with lead.

  • This is because children:
    • Often put their hands in their mouths.
    • Sometimes chew on toys and other household objects and furniture that may contain lead.