Lead found in Unexpected Places

November 1, 2013 1:15 pm

We often talk about lead in paint, but lead can be found in many other unexpected places.

Lead Found in Unexpected Places

1. Pipes: Lead was used in plumbing material up until 1986 when it was banned for use in this application.  Even after it was banned, levels of up to 8% lead are still considered acceptable. Consider having your water tested to ensure it is not contaminated.

2. Hunting:  Many hunters still use lead bullets.  When meat is brought home for consumption a hunter could be unknowingly poisoning his or her family.  If you are a hunter use lead-free bullets.  Check out “Leadie Gaga” right, aka Leann Howell, Executive Director and President of Alpha, at a recent Healthy Homes Conference in Philadelphia.  Her Earthy costume and sash of bullets aim to raise awareness about dangers of using lead bullets.

3. Lipstick: The FDA recently released a study that implicated over 400 shades of lipsticks were contaminated with lead.  Some of the biggest names in cosmetics are listed.  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics continues to advocate for the removal of lead in makeup.  For a more detailed list of leaded lipsticks follow the link.

4. Soil: Leaded gasoline wasn’t banned until 1991 as a result of The Clean Air Act.  For decades, exhaust from leaded gasoline leached into the soil.  Combine that with the lead found in the exterior paint of many homes and it becomes clear that soil is a likely place for lead to linger.  Have your soil tested if you have concerns that your property may be contaminated.

5. Ceramic dishes, toys and jewelry: Paints and materials used to create and decorate these items can contain lead contaminates.  Use dishes that were made after the 1960’s, microwave in glass and consider testing these items in your home.