Ways to Take Action

Get help for your family.

Contact your elected leader

Call or write your local elected official:

 

My name is _____ and I live in _________ (community).

I am contacting you because our community needs you to take action on lead poisoning, which is a 100% preventable problem that we CAN solve with better standards and prevention measures. Lead is found in paint dust on old windows and doors, the air and soil after old homes are demolished, and drinking water from old pipes. 80% of Allegheny County homes were built in an era of lead-based paint.

Lead poisoning has permanent, devastating effects on children, including reduced IQ levels and academic achievement, along with increased behavioral and attention-related problems and slowed physical development. This brain damage and ADD/ADHD robs our children of their full potential, talent, and well-being.

Between 2015 and 2018, 1,763 young children were reported to the Allegheny County Health Department as new case of elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs). That’s 1,763 local kids poisoned by lead. These numbers will only continue to grow the longer we wait to act. Now is the time to raise our community standard to ensure children can live, play and grow in spaces that are lead-safe.

Because there’s no safe level of lead, the only way to protect kids is ensuring they’re not exposed to it in the first place.

Will you:

  • Publicly commit to lead-safe spaces by joining Get the Lead Out Pittsburgh
  • Consider sponsoring or supporting local ordinances that
    • Require lead testing of rental properties
    • Establish a rental registry of lead-safe housing
    • Mandate lead-safe demolition and renovation practices

Can we feature you as an elected official stepping up to protect our children from lead?

Reduce exposure to lead

Parents

  • Keep children away from chipping or peeling paint and call a qualified contractor to address.
  • Make sure children wash their hands after playing outside and before eating.
  • Put doormats at each entryway and wipe shoes well.
  • Wash toys, bottles and pacifiers with soap and water weekly.
  • Test soil for lead before gardening and playing in the area.
  • Beware of artificial turf fields and playgrounds, which may contain lead dust particles.
  • Purchase an NSF-certified home water pitcher or faucet-mount filter to remove lead from water. Always used cold water when preparing food, beverages and infant formula.
  • If a job or hobby involves lead or construction, keep materials away from living areas, launder work clothes separately and change clothes before entering the home.
  • While healthy foods will not remove lead from the body, a well-balanced diet (rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin C, and low in fat) will help prevent the absorption of lead.

What to do if someone in your family experiences lead poisoning

  •  Consult with your physician.
  •  Identify the potential sources of lead.
  •  Take the steps above to minimize future exposure.
  •  Children with cognitive and behavioral problems should participate in early intervention programs to curtail developmental delays.

Homeowners, Landlords, Property Managers

  • Keep your home in good condition.
  • Clean floors, window sills, doorframes, and other flat surfaces frequently.
  • Wet dust and wet mop frequently.
  • Check for chipping and peeling paint and seek professional help to remove any deteriorating paint.
  • Test your home for lead contamination from water, paint, dust and soil.
  • Lead swab kits can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores.
  • Soil samples can be tested via your local Penn State Extension office.
  • Contact your local municipal water authority to request a lead testing kit (some offer free kits).
  • Identify if plumbing fixtures contain lead.

Take precautions before renovating

  • If your house was built or renovated before 1978, find a lead-safe renovation firm in the area, with contractors trained in lead-safe work practices. If you are doing the renovation yourself, visit the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Program: Do-It-Yourselfers webpage.
  • Know where lead is located in your home and learn how to protect yourself and your family.
  • Hire a lead-safe certified contractor.
  • Seek resources for up-to-date housing codes.

Educators/Early Learning Providers

Lead is common in buildings built before 1978. The science is clear; lead impacts a child’s development, growth and learning.

  • Test any outlets that might be used for drinking water (fountains, cafeteria sinks, teacher lounges and nurse’s office, classroom sinks) for lead.
    • Always use a certified lead-safe contractor.

Contact us for help with testing for your facility, grants for remediation efforts and training for your staff and community. (link to contact us)

Contractors

Always use lead-safe work practices when doing any renovation or repair work that may disturb any dust, plaster or painted surface.

Tell your story

Has your child been tested for lead and have an elevated blood lead level (EBLL)? Where were you living? Or where was your child attending school or early learning?

We’d like to help. Let us shine a light on your child’s story.
Call 412-404-2872 or email info@gettheleadoutpgh.org

Other Ways to Take Action

Join us

Connect with the Get the Lead Out, Pittsburgh campaign. Enter your email to stay in touch.

Spread the word

Find us on Facebook to share the message to keep our children safe from lead.

Learn more

Visit our FAQs to get lead smart. 

Get help

If you need help for your child or legal assistance with a landlord, call
412-404-2872 or email info@womenforahealthyenvironment.org.

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