I’m worried because we recently moved into an older home that may have
some lead paint and I just found out that I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned
about exposing my baby to lead? – Susan
If your home was built before 1978, it could have lead-based paint. A pregnant
woman's exposure to high lead levels can be hazardous to the baby, because lead
in a mother's blood can easily cross the placenta to the fetus.
Lead poisoning can affect almost every system in the body. Even low levels of lead
in a child's blood can cause subtle problems with behavior and learning. Lead in paint
can cause problems when it is chipping, peeling, or is removed. Even opening a window
that previously had lead paint on it can release lead dust that can be inhaled or
settle on hands and food. Some homes (old and new) may also have lead pipes or copper
piping with lead solder that can allow lead to enter the tap water.
If you have an older home or are concerned about lead exposure, get a professional
to test your water, the dust in your home, the soil outside, and the paint around
your home for lead.