Lead can be found on children’s hands, so be sure to wash and dry them regularly. The amount of lead contamination on children’s hands has been directly linked to their blood lead level, so washing them frequently, especially before mealtimes, can greatly reduce exposure.
It’s also important to wash and dry your own hands before preparing food, eating and drinking. And after you’ve been cleaning the house or working in the garden, it’s best to wash and dry your hands before touching or playing with your children.
More information >
The soles of your shoes can collect lead traces throughout the day, so leaving them outside reduces the amount of lead in the household.
Toys that are left outside can quickly gather dust, and that dust, of course, can contain lead, so always wipe down toys with a damp cloth, or hose them down before use.
Always remember to wash all fruit and vegetables before eating. Then eat plenty of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day. Have fruit on your high fibre breakfast cereal (like rolled oats, wheat biscuits or bran), and eat an apple for morning tea.
Try to limit your intake of foods that are high in fat as they increase the absorption of lead.
Pets can be one of the leading causes for bringing lead traces into the household.
Dry sweeping or dusting can just move the lead from one place to another, but using a damp mop or cloth will collect the lead.
The floor can easily collect traces of lead, so eating on the floor raises the chances of accidentally ingesting lead.
Children absorb less lead when they have a tummy full of healthy food. So a child who doesn’t eat breakfast can absorb up to seven times more lead than a child who does eat breakfast.
It’s important to maintain a diet high in fibre, iron and calcium because this helps to reduce lead absorption. Fruit, vegetables, bran-based cereals, wholegrain or wholemeal breads, and pastas are all a source of fibre. Remember, variety is the key. Iron and calcium in the diet can help decrease the rate of lead absorption.