Home Health Hazards

You can be exposed to physical, chemical, and biological hazards in your home. Learn what to do about mold, lead, asbestos, or other contaminants that pose serious health concerns.

  1. Lead
  2. Asbestos
  3. Methamphetamine
  4. Mold
  5. Rodents

What is it?

Lead is a toxic metal that is persistent in the environment and can build up in the body over time.

No measurable amount of lead is considered safe in the human body. Lead is especially dangerous for children. Because no safe blood level has been identified for young children, all sources of lead exposure for children should be controlled or eliminated.

Risk will vary depending on the individual and the amount consumed.

Paint and dust are potential sources of lead poisoning in older homes. Lead might also come from contaminated soil, drinking water, children’s toys and jewelry, workplace and hobby hazards, imported candy, and traditional home remedies and cosmetics. 

Health Risks

If swallowed or inhaled, lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. Children six years old and younger are the most at risk from the effects of lead. Their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

You can take steps to lower the risk of lead exposure in your home:

  • Follow the EPA’s guidelines for lead renovation, repair and painting.
  • Inspect and maintain painted surfaces. Clean them with a wet sponge or rag to avoid stirring up lead-contaminated dust.
  • Keep your home clean and dust-free.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
  • Test your drinking water. 

Testing Lead in Drinking Water

The following laboratories are certified by the Washington State Department of Ecology to test for Lead. You can collect water samples yourself and take your samples to one of these laboratories for testing. Please contact the laboratory to verify correct sampling processes and associated fees:

Additional Information

For more information on lead exposure and abatement, visit the Washington State Department of Health.

For more information on lead in drinking water, visit the EPA  and CDC.