Mississippi State Department of Health

Lead poisoning is one of the most preventable environmental health problems in young children. High levels of lead can harm the brain, interfere with growth, cause learning difficulties, and may cause death.

Sources of Lead

Children can be exposed to lead from any of the sources below. Children are at higher risk of lead exposure if they frequent older homes that contain lead in pipes, mini-blinds, or that have chipping and peeling paint.

Possible sources of lead are:

  • Soil and dust
  • Tap water
  • Glazed pottery
  • Electrical cords
  • Garden hoses
  • Lead-based paint
  • Keys
  • Batteries
  • Imported canned foods
  • Metal jewelry
  • Outside water faucets

Signs & Symptoms

Lead poisoning may occur without any signs or symptoms.

It can take a long time for symptoms of lead poisoning to appear. Your child may be at risk long before you see any effects. Some signs to look for are:

  • Learning problems
  • Nausea
  • Growth failure
  • Behavior disorder
  • Unexplained seizures
  • Irritability
  • Developmental delay
  • Hearing loss
  • Frequent tiredness

7 Ways to Reduce Lead Risk


How a family in Ohio was affected by lead after renovations in their house.


Families and lead exposure

Common Sources of Lead

Ways to Properly Clean Lead

Ways to Reduce Lead Poisoning in Children

Lead Prevention Resources




Healthy Homes


To learn more about the risks of lead or to arrange a lead screening, contact your primary care provider or call the Mississippi Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes Program at (601) 576-7447.

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Links referenced
One family's experience with lead    https://nchh.org/resource-library/Testimonial_Cantley.pdf
Pregnant? Lead Poisoning Prevention Starts Now (CDC)    https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/docs/are-you-pregnant.html
Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-06/documents/pyf_color_landscape_format_2017_508.pdf
Questions and Answers About Lead in the Home    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/41,11602,176,html
Combata el Envenenamiento con Plomo con una Dieta Saludable    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/nutritionsp.pdf
Avoiding Take-Home Lead Exposure    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/11589.pdf
Quick Guide for Lead Poisoning Prevention, Clinical Evaluation, and Management    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/8119.pdf
Lead-Free Mississippi: Resources and information for Mississippians    https://www.leadfreems.org/
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Lead Poisoning Information    http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/
Lead Poisoning Prevention from the EPA    http://www.epa.gov/lead
Lead-Based Paint Visual Assessment Training (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)    http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/training/visualassessment/h00101.htm
Video: How to test children for lead with maximum accuracy (CDC)    https://youtu.be/g2p2qREch9g
National Center for Healthy Housing    http://nchh.org/
Healthy Homes (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)    https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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