Adult Lead Poisoning Prevention

Adults can experience lead poisoning too. Lead can be harmful to all adults even if they don't feel sick. Levels of lead once thought harmless are now shown to be toxic.Studies have shown lead exposure can:

  • Decrease brain function
  • Decrease kidney function
  • Increase blood pressure and increase your chance of having a heart attack or stroke
  • Increase chances of having a miscarriage and harm the development of your baby before its born

Lead can be particularly harmful to pregnant women and their developing fetuses. It can damage the brain, kidneys, nerves and other parts of the body. It can cause difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriage or stillbirth.

Adults can be exposed to lead dust or lead fumes during renovation or remodeling activities in older homes with lead-based paint, or through certain jobs or hobbies. Lead dust can also be brought into your home on work clothes and equipment and get in your car, on furniture, floors, and carpets. This is called take home lead and it can harm anyone who comes in contact with it.

What do health care providers and New York State do to address adult lead poisoning?

The New York State Network of Occupational Health Clinics provides medical and educational services for workers exposed to workplace hazards. If you want to talk to a physician about lead exposure at work, contact a health clinic in your area. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant are are concerned about lead exposures, ask your health care provider about a blood lead test.