IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana State Department of Health

Environmental Public Health Home > Lead & Healthy Homes Program > About the Lead Program > Health Information > Lead Hazards Lead Hazards

What Should My Child Eat?

How Can I Keep My Home Lead-Safe?

How Should Foods Be Stored?

Dangerous Home Remedies

What Does My Child’s Blood Lead Test Mean?

 

What Should My Child Eat?

All children can benefit from eating foods that are high in protein, iron, and calcium; and foods that are low in fats and oils.

Foods high in iron and protein

  • Lean red meats, chicken and fish
  • Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and beet greens
  • Dried beans, peas, and lentils
  • Dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, and apricots
  • Iron enriched breads and cereals

Foods high in vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Tomatoes, raw cabbage, broccoli and greens
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Foods high in calcium

  • Milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens and kale
  • Salmon and sardines

Foods low in fats and oils

  • Avoid foods such as French fries, fried chicken and potato chips
  • Avoid pastry, cakes and other fatty baked goods
  • Avoid using too much butter, oil and lard
  • Avoid hamburgers, bologna, salami, and bacon

Back to top

How Can I Keep My Home Lead-Safe?

Keep your home clean and free from dust.

In order to keep lead dust at a minimum, it is important to regularly wet mop your floors, wipe down window ledges, and wash all surfaces with water and an all-purpose cleaner.

Never sand, burn or scrape paint.

It is important to find out if the paint you are going to be working with is lead-based. If the paint is lead based, sanding, burning, and scraping paint will increase the chances of becoming lead poisoned. Anyone who is within the dwelling where this activity is occurring is at risk for lead poisoning.

Avoid bringing lead home from work.

If you work with lead, it is possible to bring it home and contaminate your dwelling. Be sure to take a shower before coming home, and change into clean clothes. Automobiles are often contaminated with lead when workers drive home in their work clothes. If the company does not provide you with clean clothes, make sure that all work clothes are washed separately as to make sure that no other clothing is contaminated. If you are unsure if you work with lead, ask the company.

Have your drinking water tested for lead.

Depending on the age of your house, you could have lead pipes or lead soldered copper pipes. While having these types of pipes doesn’t guarantee that you will have a problem it is always best to have them tested. Do not cook or make baby formula with hot water. Always use cold water as hot water can cause lead to leach from the pipes. It is also recommended that if cold water has not been used for two hours or more. Run the cold water for 30 to 60 seconds before drinking or cooking with it.

Cover exposed soil in yard.

In the past, lead was found in gasoline, so it is likely that over the years, lead was deposited through the air to your yard. Since lead is a large element, it does not leach deeply in the soil. If soil is exposed the lead is accessible to playing children and more easily tracked into the house. It is a good idea to make sure that either grass or mulch is used to cover bare soil area. Also, pay close attention to the area that is within three feet of your house, all the way around. If your house is painted with lead paint, these areas of soil are potentially dangerous due to lead flaking off or run-off due to rain. Make sure to keep these areas covered.

Back to top

How Should Foods Be Stored?

Canned foods should not be stored in their cans, once the product has been opened. In the United States, lead solder is not used in the canning process, but lead is still used in some foreign countries. If there is food remaining from the can it should be stored in a plastic container with a seal. Foods should also not be stored in crystal. Since most fine crystal contains lead, foods should not be stored in them, especially acidic foods. Acidic foods and drinks, such as orange juice, can cause the lead from the crystal to leach into the food product.

Back to top

Dangerous Home Remedies

These home remedies contain lead and are very dangerous!

AZARCON: a bright orange powder, also known as Ruedo, Corol, Maria Luiso, Alarcon, Ligo.
GRETA: a yellow powder
Both AZARCON and GRETA are given for "empacho" (intestinal illness)
Both AZARCON and GRETA are almost 100% lead. Any amount is poisonous to children and adults.

 DANGER!! THESE HOME REMEDIES ALSO CONTAIN LEAD AND CAN MAKE YOU VERY SICK

Hmong community:

PAY-LOO-AH: a red powder given for rash or fever.

Asian Indian community:

GHASARD: a brown powder given as an aid to digestion.

BALA GOLI: a round, flat, black bean dissolved in "gripe water" and used for stomachache.

KANDU: a red powder used to treat stomachache.

Arab American community:

KOHL (ALKOHL): a powder used both as a cosmetic eye make-up and applied to skin infections and the navel of a newborn child.

IF YOU HAVE TAKEN OR HAVE GIVEN A HOME REMEDY THAT CONTAINS LEAD TO A CHILD, DO THE FOLLOWING:

You should get medical attention immediately. Call your doctor, clinic, or local health department for more information or for help with treatment for lead poisoning.

You can also call the Indiana Poison Control Center telephone hotline 800/222-1222

Someone is available 24 hours/day to answer your questions and help in an emergency.

Back to top

What Does My Child’s Blood Lead Test Mean?

Blood Lead Level Suggested Actions
0-9 mcg/dL No further action, the levels are in the normal range
10-14 mcg/dL Rescreen every 3-4 months. Take notice of possible sources of lead in the child’s environment, and practice safety tips.
20-44 mcg/dL Complete medical evaluation. Find and get rid of lead hazards in the child’s environment.
45-69 mcg/dL Medical treatment and inspection of the child’s environment within 48 hours.
70 mcg/dL or above Medical emergency. Seek immediate medical treatment and inspection of the child’s environment.