Lead dust in the home is caused by chipping, peeling, flaking or deteriorating lead-based paint and can exist in even the cleanest of homes. Lead can also be found in toys, jewelry, and other consumer products and may be brought home from some jobs.
Lead is a metal that can be toxic when swallowed or inhaled into the body. Children are most vulnerable from in the womb until age six. But all children at any age can be affected by lead poisoning. Dust from lead paint continues to be the number one source of childhood lead poisoning. It can cause delays in growth and development, behavioral problems and learning disabilities.
While the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels in children in Maryland has declined dramatically over the years, there are still children with persistently elevated blood lead levels from previous exposures and children who are newly exposed to lead every year. It is one of the most important environmental problems for children in Maryland.