Protect your children from lead

March 23, 2023
Some older toys and pottery that contain lead

For Poisoning Prevention Week, know how to protect young children from lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can damage the brain and other vital organs and cause behavior problems and even death with high enough exposure.

We’re seeing more children with elevated blood lead levels in Minneapolis: 112 children tested positive for lead poisoning in 2022, which is the highest number since 2018. Since lead exposure commonly comes from lead painted windows, older painted toys and older pottery, here are some tips to keep your children safer around these.

Video: Lead paint protection

The most common cause of lead exposure in homes is lead paint dust, which often comes from windows with paint from before 1978. If your windows could have lead paint, watch this video to learn how to properly clean them before having them open this spring.

Test household items for lead

Common household items that can contain lead include older pottery and older painted wood, metal or vinyl toys such as animals, farm animals, dinosaurs, old trucks and toy tractors.

Contact the Health Department to get your household items tested for lead.

In the meantime, keep older painted toys away from young children, and don’t put food or drinks in older pottery or pottery that came from outside the U.S.

Visit the City website for more information on testing your children and home for lead.