Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. It stands apart from other diseases in that its causes are not only understood but also totally within our control.
As a society, we can protect all of our children from being lead poisoned by adopting policies to eliminate lead from our environment. Dramatic steps have already been taken by prohibiting the use of lead-based paint and lead solder (for joining pipes) for residential use and phasing out leaded gasoline. However, until we create an effective system and commit the necessary resources to remove the lead that still covers the walls and woodwork in our homes, the threat of lead poisoning remains. For a discussion of public policy addressing lead poisoning, see Chapter 19.
As a parent, the best way to minimize the risk of lead poisoning to your child is to eliminate sources of lead from your child's living environment. For a discussion of controlling lead paint and dust hazards, see Chapters 10 through 13.
Although paint and dust are the most common sources of lead poisoning, there are a number of other sources contributing to the disease. Lead poisoning can be caused by several sources acting in combination, or occasionally by just one less common source, such as water